May 9, 2014, 9:36 PM EDT
When officials of NOLA Motorsports Park announced Monday that they were prepared to begin hosting an annual IndyCar race starting in 2015, there was a great deal of positive feedback and excitement in New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and the IndyCar world over the news.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu were especially jubilant that competitive professional auto racing will return to the Crescent City for the first time since sports cars raced through downtown and the Superdome in 1995.
Unfortunately, and honestly quite surprisingly given the caliber of NOLAMP’s chief designer, there were a number of critics who questioned the move, particularly those who feel NOLAMP’s design and layout is not conducive to hosting an IndyCar race.
Alan Wilson, the designer of NOLAMP, Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park just outside Birmingham, Ala., where IndyCar had a fantastic race two weeks ago, really took those criticisms to heart.
In fact, Wilson took the rather unusual step of writing an op-ed column for Racer magazine’s Racer.com, essentially quantifying why the critics were so wrong with their comments.
“Needless to say the announcement has brought forth the usual critics, complainers and know-everythings, which is very unfortunate because the preponderance of critics of IndyCar like these over the years has done nothing but hurt the series,” Wilson wrote on Racer.com. “While I have had absolutely nothing to do with the plan to bring IndyCar to NOLA, and have no idea what ‘upgrades’ are planned by either IndyCar or NOLA itself, I would like to clarify a few things.”
One of the most respected racetrack designers in the world, Wilson didn’t need to justify his design of NOLAMP to anyone.
But we’re kind of glad he did because we were cheering Wilson more and more with each paragraph of his op-ed that we read.
Even if you’re not an IndyCar fan, you owe it to yourself to click here and read Wilson’s fascinating and from-the-heart tome.
To Wilson for doing what he did, we have just one word: Bravo!
And to those who criticized Wilson and NOLAMP, we’re sorry you’re so short-sighted and narrow-minded. Check back with us in about five years when the NOLAMP race becomes one of the most popular on the IndyCar circuit, and we’ll see who was wrong in the first place.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
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