In a move that isn’t a surprise, but is still a body blow for Indy Car racing, the IZOD Indy Car Series announced today that the August 19 race that had been slated for Xingdao, China, has been cancelled.
Randy Bernard admitted two weeks ago in Belle Isle that the race was still on shaky ground, and today the promoter pulled the plug on the event.
"We wanted to give the China race every opportunity to move forward and be successful, but (the series) has been notified by the promoter that the event is cancelled for 2012," said Indy Car CEO Randy Bernard. "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 Indy Car and its participants to plan accordingly for the second half of the season."
The series is in search of an event to replace the terminated China trip. The preferred move would have been to partner with the American Le Mans Series at Road America over the August 19 weekend, but Road America President George Bruggenthies told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week that he has the Sunday date filled with other activities and that he was unlikely to make a change to accommodate Indy Car.
The cancellation drops the season slate from 16 to 15 races, marking the fewest races on the IZOD Indy Car Series slate since 2006.