A $1 million special event at the Thermal Club has been added to the IndyCar Schedule for March 24, 2024.
IndyCar made the announcement Sunday morning at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – site of Sunday’s Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey 2023 IndyCar Series finale.
The race is schedule for Sunday, March 24 and will be broadcast on NBC.
According to IndyCar, it will be a unique, made-for-TV racing exhibition during the 2024 season. The special event from sunny Southern California will offer a $1 million prize to the winner.
Race Day for the $1 Million Challenge is set for Sunday, March 24 with an NTT IndyCar Series Open Test, and qualifications to take place Friday and Saturday March 22-23.
“The NTT IndyCar Series will add an incredible new event to our schedule with next year’s spectacular racing showcase at The Thermal Club,” said Penske Entertainment Corp. President & CEO Mark Miles. “This world-class venue just down the road from the world’s premier entertainment market is the perfect place to bring our hyper-competitive racing and growing star power.”
While championship points will not be on the line, the event will feature a multimillion-dollar purse. A draw party to begin the event will embed members of The Thermal Club with each race team and driver.
The weekend format will include a qualifying session and two heat races, with the top six from each heat advancing to an All-Star showcase. The top five finishing teams will split their earnings with The Thermal Club members, including a $1 million prize awarded to the winner.
There will be a charitable component to the event that will be announced at a later date.
The NTT IndyCar Series hosted a successful Open Test on the 17-turn, 3.067-mile layout in February to jump-start the 2023 racing season.
“The experience the teams had at The Thermal Club was second to none,” IndyCar President Jay Frye said. “We treated it like a preseason scrimmage, and, looking back, it was the perfect launch to this record-breaking season.
“The facility is spectacular, and we cannot wait to return and showcase IndyCar in a whole new way.”
The private, world-class facility, located just outside of Palm Springs, California, is an expansive 490-acre property known as the ultimate destination for driving-minded motorsports enthusiasts.
Located at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, The Thermal Club has everything from luxury homes to a motorsports village and gourmet restaurants. The facility was named “Professional Motorsport Facility of the Year” at the 2017 Professional Motorsports World Expo in Germany.
“After having a smooth 2023 NTT IndyCar Series test, we are proud to welcome IndyCar back to The Thermal Club during the 2024 season,” said John Rogers, owner, The Thermal Club. “The teams, drivers and the entire IndyCar Series paddock are true professionals, and we look forward to developing our relationship with them in the future. This marquee racing showcase in March promises to be special for everyone, including spectators, Thermal members and race fans tuning in at home.”
There will be limited tickets available to IndyCar fans, with more details to be provided in the future.
More details on the entire 2024 season schedule will be available in the coming weeks.