IndyCar: More details announced about new race

Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Josef Newgarden, Team Penske, IndyCar - Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

More details regarding the lone new race on the 2021 IndyCar schedule on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee have been announced.

Back in September, IndyCar confirmed the addition of one new race venue to the schedule for the 2021 season, with that being a temporary street circuit outside Nissan Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans, in Nashville, Tennessee.

This race, the first new street circuit on the IndyCar calendar since the ill-fated doubleheader in Houston, Texas was added in 2013, is the 12th of 17 races on the 2021 schedule, and it is scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 8.

More details have now been released about that race, the Music City Grand Prix, and the 11-turn, 2.17-mile (3.492-kilometer) temporary street circuit where it is slated to take place.

And circuit designer Tony Cotman expects a six-wide battle heading into turn one after the green flag flies.

Here is what he had to say in a press release.

"“The first corner is quite wide, and I can easily see them running five or six-wide, just because there is room there to do it.”"

Construction work is on target with Swiss company Geobrugg in the process of shipping out 2,150 debris fence panels and concrete barrier molds, which meet the highest FIA standards, for local barrier production. Key work and improvements are currently being made in preparation for the event.

Jochen Braunwarth, Geobrugg’s Director of Motorsport Solutions, had this to say.

"“It’s the first street circuit installation of the most current FIA safety standard in the US. We will be overseeing the production, training and quality control standards of the barriers and will perform the required training for the assemble of the debris fence panels.”"

Cotman added the following.

"“We’ve just started pouring the barriers in the new year and now product from Geobrugg is arriving every two weeks, so it’s really just about getting organized. We’ve seen their products around the world, and it has become more and more of a leader but from a US perspective using this barrier and panel system will be a first. We feel we’ve got the absolute best available safety system out there that we are going to use – we’re quite bullish about that.”"

Due to the nature of the track, this preparation is crucial to deal with the safety requirements.

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The drivers are set to cross the Cumberland River in a rare spectacle, driving over the Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge, and there are a number of elevation changes on the circuit once the drivers get past the bridge and get into the complex featuring turns four through six.

Of the 2,150 concrete barriers, 650 will be on the bridge, with cars set to race side-by-side over 80 feet above the water two times per lap. The water alone requires IndyCar take additional safety measures to ensure that rescue teams can reach the cars easily wherever they may end up.

Here’s what Cotman had to say about that issue.

"“Any time IndyCar runs near water there is always rescue to consider in case anything should happen. But the bridge is relatively wide; we’ll run a 12-meter track width in each direction.”"

All VIP suites have already been sold sold out, and a bumper crowd is expected, as long as the size is not limited by coronavirus pandemic-related restrictions.

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The 2021 IndyCar season is scheduled to get underway in about two and a half months with the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by AmFirst at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday, April 18 after pandemic-related restrictions caused three early-season schedule changes.