IndyCar still evaluating flyaway international races

Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., parent company for IMS and IndyCar, says that races outside North America would be the “perfect” start to an NTT IndyCar Series season, whereas fitting them into the current March-September template would be difficult.

IndyCar still evaluating flyaway international races

The 17-race/16-event 2019 IndyCar season stretches only from March 11 in St. Petersburg, FL., to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, CA. on Sept. 22, and Miles has long been determined to keep the final quarter of the year clear to avoid clashes with the NFL season.

By his own confession, however, this restricts available dates for IndyCar racing elsewhere in the world, and could hurt the chances of an IndyCar-Supercars joint event in Surfers Paradise, Australia.

Miles has once again reiterated his desire for an Aussie round, saying: “We’d love to get to Australia because of Australia’s history and their interest in IndyCar, Will [Power], Scott [Dixon], the series, and a nostalgic yearning for those days. We’ll see if that’s going to work out. I still don’t know.”

Asked which other countries outside North America have become a priority, and whether Japan is among them, Miles replied: “Japan and many other countries that you could name are tough because of my insistence on a strategy.

“To date, we’ve said we aren’t going to end the championship abroad. We’re going to be careful if we would even consider having an international race – by which I don’t include Mexico, I mean flyaway – within the championship season after we’ve had our first race in the States. 

“To me, the perfect start would be February. Do a race or two abroad, get to St. Pete and stay in North America until we crown a champion.

“There a couple of holes in the calendar, so it’s not completely unthinkable that we could plug a hole… but it’s not what we are looking to do.

“That’s a long way of saying that it’s tough to go to Japan. There are so many climates that don’t work in February and Japan is pretty much one of them.”

Japan last held an IndyCar race in 2011 on the Motegi road course, whereas Brazil – about which Miles sounded more optimistic – was on the 2014 schedule, on the streets of Sao Paulo.

A race in Brasilia was also on the original ’15 calendar but was deleted before the season started due to a change in local government.

“A return to Brazil is on the cards when the economy gets itself righted,” said Miles. “There’s a great fanbase there. You all know that. And they know how to put an event together.

“There is nothing happening at the moment, but when that economy is capable again, it will be a focus for us.”

O’Ward would be “important” to a Mexico return

A Mexican race has also been mooted for the last three years, but Miles admitted that rookie Pato O’Ward’s split from the Harding Steinbrenner Racing team would make a race south of the border less viable.

“I think he’s an incredibly talented driver on and off the track,” said Miles, “so I do think it’s important that he finds a home in IndyCar.

“I don’t see [O’Ward’s] announcement as tantamount to him not being with us, but time will tell. 

“We spent some time in Mexico last year. We had a mature conversation with folks who understand racing and understand promoting in Mexico.

"We came away thinking that we should not be impatient just because somebody might write a check and put a race on. If the table isn’t set, if the fans don’t know who’s racing , we might have a good event for a year.

“They gave us a list of examples, not just related to our racing, where series would come in and have a great first race and then decline over time. We want the opposite.

“We have not finished making television arrangements there. That will be important. We’ll be patient and sooner than later we’ll find a great place to race in Mexico.

“Having a Mexican driver is important to them, and Pato’s a stud, so I hope he stays.”

shares
comments
IndyCar reveals cockpit safety modification

Previous article

IndyCar reveals cockpit safety modification

Next article

DragonSpeed "not here to make up the numbers" in IndyCar

DragonSpeed "not here to make up the numbers" in IndyCar
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021
Colton Herta – America's next racing hero Prime

Colton Herta – America's next racing hero

Last Sunday, Colton Herta demolished his IndyCar opposition in the second round of the season. David Malsher-Lopez explains why Andretti Autosport’s youngest ace bears all the hallmarks of becoming the country’s next homegrown motorsport hero.

IndyCar
Apr 29, 2021
How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival? Prime

How good is Palou and is he Dixon’s strongest title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021