2009 Indy MotoGP: Centennial Celebration

One hundred years of racing at IMS.

2009 Indy MotoGP: Centennial Celebration

Last September's inaugural Red Bull Indianapolis GP added a two-wheel exclamation point to Indianapolis Motor Speedway's unparalleled motorsports legacy. Not only did the race provide a second stateside round for the globe-trotting MotoGP series, it led off the first of many on- and off-track events planned for The Brickyard's much-anticipated centennial celebration."The first event here in 1909 was a motorcycle race, so when we were planning the centennial way back in 2002, the first thing several people thought of was a motorcycle race," says Ron Green, Director of Public Relations at IMS. "MotoGP was the best fit, and we consider last year's GP the first event to celebrate the centennial. Due to the worldwide success of the race, it didn't take long for us to realize we were on to something that would be widely popular for both race fans and the track itself."

Last year's hurricane-like weather conditions on race day shortened the MotoGP event and caused the 250cc contest to be cancelled altogether. But the heavy rain and fierce winds did not dampen the enthusiasm of the reported 91,000 spectators who were treated to intense action on the 16-turn, 2.621-mile roadcourse. The event also helped to raise global awareness of Indy—the racetrack and the city, the latter rightly proud of its sparkling-new international airport.

"The fact that a person can travel to any country in the world and say they're from Indianapolis and have people immediately think racing reinforces why Indy is known as the racing capital of the world," says Green. "This brings a sense of pride for us employees working at such a grand facility, giving us a stake in the track's heritage, especially since we're all here during a remarkable centennial birthday of the greatest track around."