By David Swarts
Earlier today, the NTT Indycar Series announced that the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) has been postponed from its original date on May 24 until August 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic and efforts to contain its spread.
Unfortunately, that’s the same weekend IMS was scheduled to host the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series event.
That resulted in MotoAmerica moving its event at IMS to October 9-11, according to MotoAmerica COO Chuck Aksland.
“I had a call this morning from [IMS President] Doug Boles to let me know what they were planning,” Aksland exclusively told Roadracingworld.com. “We had talked earlier in the week to discuss some alternate date options in case they made a decision to move the [Indy] 500. So, we had some dates in our back pocket depending on what direction they had to go.
“The date options that we had were the October 16-18 weekend and the [October] 9-11 weekend. We took into consideration the Daytona 200 being rescheduled for that weekend of the 18th. So, our new Indy date will be October 9-11.”
With major race events being rescheduled almost daily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s getting harder and harder for racing organizations to reschedule events at the premier venues during a time when the weather it still suitable for holding a racing event in front of spectators.
“It’s complicated with the tracks that we go to,” said Aksland. “The Indy 500 is the largest motorsport event in the world. We’re sharing tracks with them, sharing tracks with IMSA. Our events are all three-to-four-day events, typically. So, everyone’s in the same boat when sharing limited access to facilities. Everybody needs to be a little flexible.
“And from what I understand, in October the weather is still pretty good in Indianapolis and we’ve been assured that the Motorcycles on Meridian event is going to move to follow our date, which is a big consideration. Certainly, the Speedway and the City of Indianapolis look to be working with us. I think it’s the best of an unfortunate situation.”
Aksland said he has also confirmed that the Steve Nace Racing Promotions flat track event originally scheduled to be held inside IMS during the MotoAmerica America will also be rescheduled to run during the new October 9-11 event date.
“It sounds like everything’s going to fall into place,” said Aksland.
Following this development, the current 2020 MotoAmerica schedule looks like this:
5/1-3 VIRginia International Raceway, Alton, VA
5/29-31 Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
6/26-28 Ridge Motorsports Park, Shelton, WA
7/10-12 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA
7/31-8/2 Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA
8/7-9 Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Wampum, PA
9/11-13 New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, NJ
9/18-20 Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, AL
10/9-11 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN
11/13-15 Circuit of the Americas, Austin, TX (To Be Confirmed)