The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return to the Brickyard next year as part of a standalone event including a four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race.
Announced on Friday, the ‘IMSA Battle on the Bricks’ will feature a two-hour 40-minute WeatherTech Championship race that will be held Sunday, Sept. 17 with live NBC network television coverage.
The event, which has been under consideration since Roger Penske’s purchase of the Speedway, is understood to replace Mid-Ohio on the 2023 IMSA calendar, although not yet confirmed by the sanctioning body.
A longer-distance endurance race for the WeatherTech Championship is planned for 2024 and 2025, meanwhile.
“Indianapolis Motor Speedway is hallowed ground in the world of motorsport, and we are honored to bring IMSA and the WeatherTech Championship back to IMS,” said IMSA President John Doonan.
“There has been mutual interest and many conversations between IMSA and IMS leadership for quite some time to bring our brand of premium endurance sports car racing back to the Speedway and our collective fans.
“As we launch an exciting new era in 2023 and introduce GTP as our top category of prototypes alongside many of our other successful categories and sanctioned series, the timing is right for a full weekend of IMSA action in Indianapolis and on NBC next fall.”
In addition to Pilot Challenge, other IMSA-sanctioned single-make series will be in action over the weekend, which will likely be announced at next week’s ‘State of the Sport’ address at Road America.
“Our reputation as the Racing Capital of the World will be further enhanced by the IMSA Battle on the Bricks, as IMSA will join the major series competing at IMS in 2023,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said.
“IMSA features some of the most evocative manufacturers and machines in global motorsports, so a return to IMS is a perfect fit for our loyal fans.
“We can’t wait to see exciting new GTP prototypes compete on the road course in yet another full weekend of action at the Speedway, complete with great racing in other classes and the Michelin Pilot Challenge.”
In a first for the Speedway, fans will be allowed to camp in the IMS infield, with powered and primitive spaces available to purchase.
The event will mark the first WeatherTech Championship race at IMS since 2014 when Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa claimed victory for Action Express Racing in a Corvette DP.
Prior to that, two editions were held under the Grand-Am moniker in 2012 and 2013, with all three events running as part of the Brickyard 400 weekend.