8 July 2009
Cleveland, New Hampshire to join Brazil on 2010 schedule?
Next season's IndyCar Series calendar could see more changes than just the slated addition of an opening round in Brazil, with several other new venues being mulled over ahead of a planned August release.
While a street race in South America is widely expected to launch the third season of unified open-wheel action, other circuits look set to be added to the schedule, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper.
IRL commercial president Terry Angstadt admitted that the series was targeting something between 16 and 18 races for next season, and has conceded that a return to former Champ Car favourite Cleveland could be on the agenda, along with New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Barber Motorsports Park, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Longer term, Angstadt revealed, the League was considering a road circuit set around Foxborough's Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.
While the list remains provisional pending further discussions, the inclusion of Cleveland will catch the eye as the Burke Lakefront Airport circuit - which had proposed to run a radical oval-road course double-header - had appeared to have dropped out of contention for a place in 2010.
"We are working very hard at optimising [the schedule] and hope to announce that by the end of July - we may actually do that on 1 August 1 at Kentucky," Angstadt commented during the recent Richmond event, "We are really hanging in between 17 and 18 races.
"Our job is to try to hit the top DMAs in the country, and we do have an international expansion in the works that you've heard a little bit about. And we hope, it's not been confirmed like previously reported, but we hope to confirm that we are going to open in Brazil in the very near future. As we said before, we will not race internationally unless it's good for everybody involved.
"New Hampshire represents a facility where we know our cars race well, and there are conversations, so that may develop."
While competition president Brian Barnhart agreed that New Hampshire was 'the type of track I would love to be back at [as] the flat, short oval is a great racing track for us', Angstadt revealed that the IRL was also hoping to keep a place on the calendar for Milwaukee if its promoter situation could be resolved.
"Milwaukee continues to be a challenge, one that has probably gotten a bit worse since we have talked last," he admitted, "We felt like we may be able to develop a plan with the current promoter to not only fulfil outstanding obligations, but give us a confidence level that we could put it on the schedule.
"However, we are not announcing the schedule until the end of July, so I guess there could be something developed, but it remains to be seen. It does look like pretty tough operating conditions up there right now, so we'll just monitor that. As I said, we have an alternative developed on the schedule and we hope to be able to include Milwaukee. We just don't know that yet."
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