For the first since Helio Castroneves edged fellow Brazilians Tony Kanaan and Gil de Ferran in 2003, IndyCar Racing returns to the metro east on Aug. 26 when the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Presented by Valvoline, takes place at Gateway Motorssports Park.
Currently second in 2017 IndyCar points standings behind Scott Dixon, Castroneves headlines a field of drivers that includes Simon Pagenaud, Josef Newgarden and Will Power who will compete at Gateway.
Gateway Motorsports Park owner and CEO Curtis Francois said earlier this year that he is thrilled to have the IndyCar drivers back in the St. Louis area.
“We couldn’t be any more pleased that for the first time in years — back to 2003 — that the drivers in open-wheel racing are back here at Gateway,” Francois said. “The drivers I’ve talked to say the course is fast — very fast. And I think people who come out will have the opportunity to see a very exciting race.”
Preparations for the event are moving along with the official schedule released oFriday. The St. Louis Speed Festival is a week-long celebration and includes several events throughout the St. Louis area.
IndyCar Fan Fest is from 3 to 6 p.m. Aug. 24 at Ballpark Village and features driver appearances, a pit stop competition and hauler parade.
A post-race concert is Aug. 25 on the Coors Light Main Stage at the Gateway Motorsports Park.
The week of activities concludes on Saturday with the inaugural Verizon IndyCar Series Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline beginning at 8:40 p.m. Preliminary races include the Pro Mazda series and Indy Lights Series.
Tickets for the inaugural Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline are available online at www.gatewaymsp.com/indycar/ or by calling the GMP ticket office at 618-215-8888. Tickets start at $35. Kids 15 and younger are free (general admission) with a paid adult.
At a glance
This is the schedule for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 Presented by Havoline:
- 3-6 p.m.: Ballpark Village INDYCAR Fan Fest at Ballpark Village
- Noon: Coors Light Pole Night Showdown
- 2 p.m.: Spectator gates and Gateway Kartplex opens
- 3:30-4:30 p.m.: First Verizon IndyCar Series practice
- 4:45 p.m.: Pro Mazda series practice
- 5:45-6:45 p.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying
- 7 p.m.: Indy Lights series practice
- 8-9 p.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series Coors Light Happy Hour final practice
- 9:10-11 p.m.: Concert on the Coors Light Main Stage
- 11 p.m.: Gateway Kartplex closes.
- 9 a.m.: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline
- 11 a.m.: Spectator gates and Gateway Kartplex opens
- Noon: Pro Mazda series qualifying
- 1:45 p.m.: Indy Lights series qualifying
- 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series driver autograph session in INDYCAR Fan Village
- 4:55 p.m.: Pro Mazda Championship Presented By Cooper Tires race
- 6 p.m.: Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires race
- 7:15 p.m.: Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop competition
- 8 p.m.: Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline driver introductions (on the midway)
- 8:40 p.m.: Command to start engines for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline
- 8:45 p.m.: Green flag for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline
- 10:30 p.m.: Victory lane celebration
- 11 p.m.: Gateway Kartplex closes