IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
4 days
23 Apr
Next event in
11 days
R
Texas
30 Apr
Next event in
18 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 1
14 May
Next event in
32 days
28 May
Next event in
46 days
R
Detroit
11 Jun
Next event in
60 days
R
Road America
18 Jun
Next event in
67 days
R
Mid-Ohio
02 Jul
Next event in
81 days
R
Toronto
09 Jul
Next event in
88 days
06 Aug
Next event in
116 days
R
Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race 2
13 Aug
Next event in
123 days
R
Gateway
20 Aug
Next event in
130 days
R
Portland
10 Sep
Next event in
151 days
R
Laguna Seca
17 Sep
Next event in
158 days
R
Long Beach
24 Sep
Next event in
165 days

Watkins Glen lined up to replace Boston on 2016 IndyCar schedule

IndyCar should be able to announce this week that the Verizon IndyCar Series will return to Watkins Glen International in September, for its first race there since 2010.

Watkins Glen lined up to replace Boston on 2016 IndyCar schedule
Watkins Glen repaving
Raphael Matos, de Ferran Luczo Dragon Racing, Dario Franchitti, Target Chip Ganassi Racing
In its first F1 season, 1967, the new Ford DFV engine won four races: Holland, Great Britain, USA at Watkins Glen, and Mexico; all wins were by Jim Clark in a Lotus 49.
Watkins Glen repaving
Early race action
Watkins Glen pit lane
Watkins Glen repaving
Watkins Glen tourist info
Watkins Glen marina
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota and Tony Stewart, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet and Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Motorsport.com has learned that the classic road course venue, which was recently repaved, is now heavy favorite to replace the Grand Prix of Boston on the 2016 schedule, following the latter’s demise before it had even held a race.

President of Watkins Glen, Michael Printup, told Motorsport.com a deal was not yet done with IndyCar, but he remains hopeful it will happen this week.

“I have spoken to Jay Frye [IndyCar’s President of Competition and Operations], and although we haven’t gotten back on the phone this week yet, it's no secret that I would love to see them come back,” said Printup.

“I’m sure Jay’s spoken to other venues – he’s doing his due diligence – but Indy cars are very fast and very enjoyable at Watkins Glen…

“Like I say, we haven’t spoken this week, but it’s only Monday.”

Watkins Glen, in upstate New York, first held an Indy car race in 1979 but the event lasted just three years with Bobby Unser claiming two wins and Rick Mears the third.

When the Indy Racing League added road courses to its schedule, WGI returned to the Indy car calendar in 2005 for six years, with the victories being taken by Scott Dixon (three wins), Ryan Hunter-Reay, the late Justin Wilson and at the last race, Will Power.  

Date juggling

Printup admitted that being a direct replacement for the failed Boston event, with an event being held on Labor Day Weekend, was not ideal for the scenic 3.4-mile track on the south tip of Seneca Lake. However, he felt date issues could be resolved.

“For one thing, Labor Day Weekend only really gives us June, July and August to promote the event,” said Printup. “But I know how hard it is to put a schedule together, so I understand why that's IndyCar’s preferred choice of dates.

“We already have our traditional Ferrari event here that weekend – they own the weekend with a closed private event, so there’s some negotiation that would need to be done. 

“I think we could put a schedule together that would give both Ferrari and IndyCar enough track time. But Ferrari is a longstanding and honorable client and so we have to be sensitive to their needs, and I’ve made Jay aware of that.”

With Sonoma Raceway guaranteed as Verizon IndyCar Series’ season finale on September 16-18, and Pocono Raceway set for August 20-21, IndyCar would appear to have limited alternatives to Labor Day Weekend.

On the weekend between LDW and Sonoma, Watkins Glen plays host to the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s Vintage Grand Prix, the size of which demands track action all weekend.

Hosting a race before Pocono is also unlikely to appeal to Watkins Glen, as NASCAR occupies the Aug. 4-7 slot, and gives promoters even less time to publicize the event.

“That is the difficult nut to crack,” said Printup. “If we can confirm the deal with IndyCar, we only really have three weeks to prepare for it after our NASCAR weekend. But with our Formula 1 history, we have a very stout open-wheel fanbase here, and I think we’d see the fruits of our labor.”

Asked if he thought a race this year could lead to a renewal of a long-term relationship with IndyCar, Printup said, “I would hope so. I think this is a great facility for IndyCar racing, I love IndyCar, and so long as the business model is right for the series and for us, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t continue.”

shares
comments
IndyCar aims for October race in China

Previous article

IndyCar aims for October race in China

Next article

Q&A with IndyCar's newest rookie Matt Brabham

Q&A with IndyCar's newest rookie Matt Brabham
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez
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
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020
How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words Prime

How Dixon won his sixth IndyCar title, in his own words

Chip Ganassi Racing’s newly crowned six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon takes us round by round through his remarkable season. David Malsher-Lopez listens.

IndyCar
Nov 4, 2020