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Today starts both IMS GP of Indy weekend and track’s new business strategy

May 8, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

IMSGP1 AP

The month of May as a bigger revenue generator for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins, ironically, with a free admission day on the grounds for the opening day of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend.

But it’s the days to come that will determine the success of the new IMS strategy to increase overall revenue by offering more important on-track content.

Friday and Saturday’s GP of Indy weekend see General Admission tickets for as low as $25, and two-day GA passes for $41. No grandstand seats are more than $77.

The race is something of a test case to expose the Verizon IndyCar Series, as a series and one that races predominately on road and street courses, to its most iconic market: the city of Indianapolis.

It will be interesting to see how much of the local population, beyond the tens of thousands of local hardcore IndyCar fans, come out to support this inaugural race. Certainly there’s the novelty aspect of a first-time race, and based on driver comments the track has the potential to produce a thrilling 82-lapper from a standing start.

From there, it’s straight into a week of practice, followed by the latest new qualifying format next weekend, then a host of concerts and other events to supplement Carb Day and the run-up to Indianapolis 500 race day.

IMS has made its new business strategy of trying to provide more compelling content over the month one of its new selling points. The kickoff is this weekend with the last “normal race weekend” for IndyCar until the month of May concludes.

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