Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host is first IZOD IndyCar Series road course race next May, the venue announced on Thursday.

The staging of an additional race at IMS to bookend the month's activities that lead up to the 98th Indianapolis 500 on Sunday May 25 will be the first time that the facility's road course will have been used by the series.

The road course will undergo reconfiguration this autumn in preparation for the event. Testing to evaluate the suitability of the road course and to identify any necessary modifications was held at the start of September by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and Panther Racing.

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As a result of the test runs by Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe, more passing zones and fan-friendly vantage points will now be added to the current layout. Road course events that have been held at IMS using previous layouts include F1, MotoGP and GRAMD-AM.

"This event will bring even more energy and action to the Month of May for fans and create another showcase for the diversity and excitement of the Speedway and the IndyCar Series," said Hulman & Company Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles.

"The new road race will further enhance the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as the premier motorsports destination in the world and direct an even brighter spotlight on the Indianapolis 500," he added.

Confirmation that a road course event will be held at IMS came after a vote by the board of directors of the Speedway on Thursday. More details about the new race, reconfigured road course and other plans for the Month of May will be announced next month.

Carpenter transporter catches fire after Fontana test

The Ed Carpenter Racing trailer caught fire in Arizona on Wednesday morning as it was returning from this week's one day test session at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.

A statement from ECR confirmed that the drivers of the truck, Matt Giese and Jeff Hughes, both escaped without injury. The #20 race car itself was undamaged.

"We are still evaluating the damage at this time," the team said in a statement. "We would like to thank the Andretti Autosport teams and their truck drivers who stopped to assist Matt and Jeff with the incident. We hope to have additional information on the trailer and equipment as soon as it is available."

As part of the build up to next month's IZOD IndyCar Series finale, drivers undertook a one-day test session at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Tuesday in ideal conditions.

Carpenter - the winner of the 2012 race at Fontana - had been one of 23 drivers in total attending the test at the two-mile oval ahead of this year's event scheduled for October 19.

"It's always fun to come back to tracks where you've had success," Carpenter had said. "This place is fun because it's really challenging. The weather changes a lot and the track changed a lot today just as the sun came up and the wind picked up a little bit.

"If you're out running by yourself, the track can make you feel like you're not very good at all. You have to pay attention to what other people are doing and when they're doing it because if you just look at yourself it's hard to tell whether you're good or bad," he continued.

"One of the things we're working on is to be able to use more of the track. What we've seen in this test as compared to last year is more people have figured out that the high line is where you need to be, and it seems to be more competitive already at this test than what it was last year.

"When I see everyone else being able to run where I was last year and having success I feel I have to figure out somewhere else to be running better than everyone else," he added. "But that's the beauty of this racetrack - there's a lot of options. It's up to us and the teams to figure out how to make the car work where we want it to work to have the best shot at winning."

There were no official times released for the test day.