With China Out, Texas Could Be In
INDIANAPOLIS – IndyCar, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar Series, announced today its scheduled Aug. 19 race in Qingdao, China, has been cancelled.
“We wanted to give the China race every opportunity to move forward and be successful, but IndyCar has been notified by the promoter that the event is cancelled for 2012,” said Randy Bernard, CEO, IndyCar. “We were informed that the promoter was trying to move the event to a different date and location. After ongoing discussions regarding alternative dates, as well as doing our due diligence in exploring alternate venues in China, the promoter cancelled the event. A decision had to be made to allow IndyCar and its participants to plan accordingly for the second half of the season.”
IndyCar announced plans for its inaugural race in China on Nov. 10, 2011. Bernard said IndyCar is “not closing the door” on opportunities for a future race in China.
Bernard added that IndyCar is investigating a possible replacement event that will keep the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule at 16 races.
“We are working with our promoters that host events in the second half of our calendar to keep them apprised of how the date of a potential new race could impact our current schedule,” he said.
Series officials have already approached Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage about the posibility of hosting an event there in October.
“The thought is intriguing to potentially have Texas Motor Speedway once again play host to the IndyCar season finale, just like we did from 1999 to 2004, in the nation’s fourth-largest media market,” Gossage said in a statement late Wednesday. “However, we did not have the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR triple-header in early November at that time and a September or early October date could pose several obstacles on a variety of fronts that we would have to consider before making a decision. Considering the shrinking window to properly promote the season finale to its fullest, we will have to make a decision fairly quickly.”
Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., was thought to also be a contender for the opening on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, but officials there have already said they aren’t interested.