IndyCar responds to Boston race critics

Mark Miles, the CEO of IndyCar's parent company Hulman & Company, has dismissed latest call for cancellation for the series' newest event.

Mark Miles has rejected the notion that September’s Grand Prix of Boston is under threat, following a public letter written to Boston’s mayor Martin J. Walsh by a group calling itself Coalition Against IndyCar Boston.

At the same time, the mayor himself has also expressed his belief in the event to be held on a 2.25-mile temporary layout around the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in the Seaport district on Labor Day.

Miles told Motorsport.com: “All the indications are that the Mayor’s office and the majority of the public are really looking forward to the race.

“If you look at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, street races that are established, you can see the cities value the race and have broad public support, so I have to hope that either this letter has come from a very small group of people who have their objections, or that once the event happens, they will understand how terrific it is and they will give it the support it deserves.”

The three-page letter to the mayor was posted to a website called NoIndyCarBoston.org, and insisted, “This race brings only the expectation of future disruption with no tangible benefit. It has no place in the Seaport.”

Miles countered: “I’ve read concerns about the long disruptions these races cause, and that is emphatically not the case. It’s a matter of days, not weeks or months.

“Our people get better and better at it, and their focus is to minimize the disruptions. We run a slick operation because it’s important to us, otherwise we wouldn’t get invited back to these cities. It’s not that there’ll be zero disruption, but it certainly shouldn’t be exaggerated either.”

The response from the Mayor’s Office read: “The Mayor is reviewing the letter, and his office is happy to meet with community groups to discuss the Grand Prix coming to Boston. As has been announced already, there will be no public funds used for the event. 

“He remains confident that the Grand Prix will be good for the City and bring visitors to Boston and he has made it clear to IndyCar that community engagement is key to this process as it moves forward.”

The Grand Prix of Boston organizers stated: “The Grand Prix of Boston secured a Letter of Intent that makes it clear that no taxpayer dollars will be used, period. I'm not sure what else we need to do or say to make this point.

“We've continued to meet with residents, abutters, business owners, neighborhood associations, and literally anyone else who has requested information from us. We have a community page right on our website outlining the community groups with whom we have met.

“At every turn, we've shared renderings and drafts, and have welcomed input and, in fact, made route changes based on input from the community and from city and state agencies.

"A number of points in the letter to Mayor Walsh are not founded in fact, and are not sourced. We have presented plans and information directly to the community which fully refutes a number of these baseless claims. We'd welcome -- and have welcomed -- any dialogue about the challenges this race poses for the area and stakeholders."

Miles admitted to Motorsport.com: “Several weeks ago the Mayor’s Office was a little more concerned because the organizers had not completed all their understandings, all their agreements with the public agencies involved in the various property around the event.

“But the promoter has done a really good job now in ironing out those agreements and addressing the logistical and disruptive possibilities from a neighborhood perspective.”

Race weekend is Sept. 2-4.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Article type Breaking news
Tags boston grand prix, controversy, mark miles, mayor