NEW ORLEANS -- Race cars screamed by on time trials for the Tire Rack One Lap Of America series while Gov. Bobby Jindal announced a major Indy Car race is being planned at the Avondale track in 2015.
"The race will be called the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana at NOLA Motorsports Park," said Governor Jindal. "It will be a first of its kind, three- day racing event and festival."
Races were last held in the Central Business District in the 1990s, and while no date is set for the Indy Car race, organizers say the region will benefit.
"The racing festival has the potential to attract 80,000 visitors over a typical three-day event, over multiple years, would produce $100 million in direct economic impact," said Jindal.
"We hope to use the spotlight to show the fun side of our city," said NOLA Motorsports Park Owner Dr. Laney Chouest.
"We had this up to 150 miles an hour before we broke for turn one," said Tire Rack One Lap Of America spokesman Solomon Rosenthal.
We toured the nearly three-mile track in a $140,000 BMW M6 Grand Coupe and zipped through 16 curves that delight drivers.
"We're all here to go fast. We're all here to have fun," said Rosenthal.
Now that's an unforgettable trip. But to get this course in the shape needed for high speed Indy Car racing, improvements are needed, and the governor want to invest state dollars in that.
"In this legislative session, we're making a one-time investment of $4.5 million on facility and track upgrades," Jindal said.
"The investment goes into track improvements so it is safe for our drivers," said Indy Car CEO Mark Miles.
"From a driver's point of view, I think this is going to be a phenomenal race track that we're really going to enjoy driving on," said Indy Car driver James Hinchcliffe.