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Argentina race could still be added to 2024 IndyCar schedule

IndyCar could still race in Argentina next year despite its noticeable omission from the 2024 schedule that was announced on Monday.

Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Argentina has been under heavy consideration to host IndyCar’s first race outside of North America since Sao Paulo in 2013.

Conversations and interest increased after Ricardo Juncos, the Argentine IndyCar team owner, pulled off demonstration runs last November at Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Santiago del Estero and Autodromo Oscar y Juan Galvez in Buenos Aires.

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Juncos also put fellow countryman and multi-time Argentine touring car champion Agustin Canapino in the car to perform at the exhibition event. Canapino finished his maiden 2023 IndyCar campaign as runner-up for Rookie of the Year in the #78 Juncos Hollinger Racing entry.

Considering the schedule has already been revealed with 17 points race and a season finale on the Streets of Nashville on 15 September, the addition of Argentina after the season concludes would likely mean a non-points event. It would be the second non-points event on the calendar behind The Thermal Club, which will host a $1 Million Challenge in a made-for-TV event on 24 March.

Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment, shared that both IndyCar and Argentina race organisers remain keen making something happen.

“Not a week goes by, including this week, where we don't have great ongoing conversations to try to work out the details to race there in the fall of 2024,” Miles said. “So, it's not done yet, but we continue to make progress.

“It's something we're very interested in, as are the authorities in Argentina, and hopefully we can get it over the line.”

#77: Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet #78: Agustín Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

#77: Callum Ilott, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet #78: Agustín Canapino, Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet

Photo by: Brett Farmer / Motorsport Images

Something that has been noticeable this year is the social media abuse stemming from multiple incidents between Canapino and team-mate Callum Ilott.

The most recent tangle happened earlier this month at the season finale at Laguna Seca. It was undoubtedly Canapino’s most commanding performance of the year as both drivers were battling in the top five when they came together late. The result of the contact led to front wing damage for the Argentine and relegated him to 14th as the Briton finished fifth.

It was the second time Ilott was targeted by online abuse, with the other happening after Long Beach in April following another incident with Canapino.

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When asked by Motorsport.com if there has been any hesitancy on IndyCar’s part to put on an event in Argentina due to the fan reaction directed toward Ilott, Miles expressed it has not been a factor in the decision-making process.

“The short answer is no, absolutely not,” Miles said. “There's a lot of business points to work out for us to fly down there. There's a lot of logistical issues that have to be worked out. There's a lot of inflation in Argentina right now, so that has to be hedged or managed.

“Absolutely nothing to do with all that.”

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