May 12 is Opening Day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of two of the world’s most famous auto races, the Indy 500 and the NASCAR Brickyard 400. And while those races can expect crowds of 400,000 spectators pressed together to watch racers hit speeds of up to 240 mph on the 2.5 mile oval track, the events this coming Saturday might be a bit more calm.
To commemorate what they are calling the “Celebration of Automobiles” the venerable speedway is throwing open its garage doors to owners of electric vehicles for an EV Rally. Instead of inhaling the fumes from 110-octane leaded gasoline and hearing the deafening roar of 800 horsepower V8 engines, participants will breathe no fumes and may even hear a few birds chirping over the gentle whir of the EVs.
For $50, drivers will be able to take a lap around the 103-year-old track whose dimensions have remained essentially unchanged since its inception in 1909. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987, it currently remains the only such landmark to be affiliated with automotive racing history.
Entry fee to the rally includes parking, gate entrance, dash plaque and the opportunity to drive around the famous race track. In addition to the EV Rally, the “Emerging Tech Showcase” at the Speedway on May 12 a will include an electric cart race in the Purdue Grand Prix and opportunities for visitors to do ride-and-drives in alternative fuel vehicles.
“The EV Rally is a great opportunity to showcase to race fans and the public some of the new plug-in electric cars on American roads,”said Brian Wynne of rally’s sponsor, the Electric Drive Transportation Association. “We encourage electric vehicle owners and drivers to participate in this exciting event and thank the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for its support in promoting emerging technology vehicles.”