Does Alabama come to mind when you think of IndyCar racing?
From Friday, April 20 through Sunday, April 22, the Honda INDY Grand Prix returns to Birmingham for the ninth straight year. The world-famous Barber Motorsports Park will host nine races in three days, capped by the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by America’s First, a signature event on the IndyCar circuit.
IndyCar racing is thrilling: the low slung, aerodynamic race cars, the heart-pounding speed controlled by state-of-the-art engineering, the twisty race courses, the exotic locations and the international drivers. The Honda INDY Grand Prix is Alabama’s own Indianapolis 500. The venue and schedule of events couldn’t be more impressive.
“It’s known as Alabama’s Indy 500, and the Barber Motorsports Park has been called the Augusta National of racing venues. It’s a world-class event at a world-class venue,” stated Gene Hallman, president and CEO of Bruno Event Team, which helps manage and promote the race through its ZOOM Motorsports division.
Barber Motorsports Park and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum opened in 2003 with the park encompassing 880 acres with a world-class 17-turn, 2.38 mile racetrack. The museum and park grew from businessman George Barber successfully racing Porsches in the 1960s to his passion for collecting and restoring classic motorcycles and cars.
Speed up to 2018…The Barber Motorsports Park was recently voted Alabama’s best attraction by USA Today readers. The visually stunning museum boasts an extensive collection of more than 1,400 rare motorcycles and race cars including the world’s largest collection of Lotus race cars.
Hallman likes what he sees.
“Year after year, this event attracts visitors and television viewers from across the country and around the globe. It shines a positive light on Birmingham and the entire state of Alabama, especially on the state’s growing automobile industry, ” stated Gene Hallman.
This weekend event at Barber has something exciting for everyone. Children will be admitted free with a paid adult admission. Come for the adrenaline rush of IndyCar racing and discover a thrilling fan experience for all ages.
Do you have a favorite driver? Drivers from all over the globe will be vying for a win. Defending champion Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Spencer Pigot, Stefan Wilson, Zach Veach, Alexander Rossi and Max Chilton, among others, are expected to compete.
“We’re excited for what’s shaping up to be the best Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama yet. There’s a great field that will include defending champion and two-time winner Josef Newgarden, who also won the Verizon IndyCar Series championship last season, and four-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon,” described George Dennis, president of ZOOM Motorsports, the exclusive promoter and event management team for Barber Motorsports Park.
Kamtek Garage experience
Want an authentic driver’s experience? With tickets to the Kamtek Garage area, you can be right in the center of the action. Exploring this dynamic working area lets race fans get up close to the cars and drivers. Bring your camera and your pen! Adding on this special upgrade costs only $30 for an adult for either Saturday or Sunday access.
“One of the unique features of this event, which is not available everywhere in the racing world, is the Kamtek Garage Pass. It gives spectators a rare up-close look at the drivers and their teams as they go to work on race day, ” added Dennis.
Got some future engineers or gear heads in the family?
Again this year, a special program called Gear Up Your Career will be happening in conjunction with all the fan activities and the racing. Presented by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and ZOOM Motorsports, this workforce development program encourages students to come out to the race and learn more about the skilled labor industry. Meet Alabama companies, talk to colleges, and see technology in action. You might just find a new career path!
IndyCar drivers run on intricate, challenging courses. The speeds reached are higher than on other racing circuits, such as NASCAR. The course at Barber Motorsports Park is a 2.38-mile permanent road course with 17 flowing turns and features 80 feet of elevation change as an additional challenge to drivers and engineers. A 45-foot-wide racing ribbon also makes it imperative for patience while setting up opportunities to pass.
Driver Spencer Pigot is excited to be back.
“Barber is definitely one of my favorite tracks, the fast corners and steep elevation changes are pretty unique and a lot of fun to drive. It has been very good to me in the past so I hope that trend continues!” Spencer Pigot.
So, crazy-fast speed, a dynamic, challenging course and all the exciting fan experiences: what more could a speed junkie need for a great race weekend?
Ages 15 and under receive complimentary Kamtek Garage passes, courtesy of Alabama Power. Kamtek Garage passes are not valid for gate admission. Ages 19 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian in Kamtek Garage. Garage pass does not include Paddock Club access.