IMS officials discuss severe weather plan, security at the track

Happening today: your chance to watch practice for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Race fans will get the chance to see IndyCar drivers practice on the new 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Thursday in preparation for Saturday’s first running of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 8, 2015) - Race fans are gearing up for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and crossing their fingers hoping the weather holds out. Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials say they're concerned about the chance of rain and possible thunder storms.

A new tool will help alert the crowd in the event severe weather strikes. Fans are sure to notice 20 brand new video boards around the track, including large screens at turns one and four. Two boards are on the outside of the Pagoda, facing the plaza area.

Track officials will be in constant contact with the National Weather Service. The severe weather plan varies depending on the conditions. Fans are encouraged to watch the video boards and listen to the announcer if the weather turns ugly.

"Well a lot of it just depends on what it is so if it’s lightning, if it’s hail, if it’s a tornado so we’re pretty careful to not get too far in front of telling people what we would do because each of those instances and also depending on time and how it’s going to come to us we might have a different response," said Doug Boles, IMS President.

IMS will also provide weather alerts via social media. Check the IMS twitter account for the latest information.

About two years ago officials took steps to implement tighter security at the track. Multiple law enforcement agencies work together throughout the month of May but the planning started almost immediately after last year's Indy 500 ended. Speedway Police leads the security effort aided by other law enforcement agencies like IMPD, Marion County Sheriff, Indiana State Police and the FBI.

"Security has stepped up but you’re not probably going see it, it’s not going to be noticeable we do have our undercover agents out here also mingling around the crowd looking around, you’re going to see a lot of uniformed officers," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Rich Myers.

The full security policy for the Angie's List Grand Prix is available online. It is suggested that fans arrive early to allow time to go through security. Gate officials will enforce a strict policy regarding cooler and bags, those items must be no larger than 18" x 14" x 14".

Fans will notice several security changes during the Indy 500. Security will be stepped up in the camping areas after a murder and shooting in the Coke Lot last year.

"We’re going to have new lighting, new law enforcement out there, new ways that we have people park in the campgrounds just so we can get through those better and make sure everybody is having a great time while they’re here," said Boles.

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