Hoping to make further inroads into the media and entertainment industries, INDYCAR, the sanctioning body of the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway plan to open an office in Santa Monica.

INDYCAR officials said that the race car organization is in a unique position for growth that makes opportunities for integration into film, television, music and emerging media properties exciting. From the announcements of the 2012 new car project that includes engine manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet and Lotus to 14 new sponsors being added last year, INDYCAR has considerable momentum, officials said.

“If we want to grow the sport, we need to be fully vested in relationships with the entertainment community that can tell the storylines of our sport,” INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said. “This will be a one-stop shop to pursue opportunities and make deals across multiple business lines and entertainment outlets.”

INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials believe the race car industry will drive interest from the Hollywood community. The 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500 race will be contested on May 29.

“Having an INDYCAR office in Los Angeles will provide our sport and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a strong presence in an important global community,” said Indianapolis Motor Speedway President and CEO Jeff Belskus. “In addition to the business reasons to have an office in Los Angeles, it is a very fitting location because many of the celebrated stories and personalities associated with the Indianapolis 500 over the last century have deep roots in Southern California.”