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Houston joins 2013 IndyCar season

As well as all the street and road course options there are also a number of possible oval courses in the picture, with the one-mile, low-banked tri-oval Phoenix International Raceway (which last saw Indy cars race in 2005), the 0.75-mile asphalt D-oval at Richmond International Raceway (used by the Indy Racing League from 2001 until 2007) and the unique 2.5-mile tri-oval at Pocono (which last hosted a CART race in 1989) all being mentioned as possible hosts for races in 2013 or beyond.

"I've been doing a lot of traveling and talking to try and see who is serious about racing with us," Bernard said.

The new 3.4-mile F1 circuit at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin has also been much-mentioned as wanting to add IndyCar to the roster of events at the new facility, but with the now-confirmed Grand Prix of Houston together with the existing event at the Texas Motor Speedway, there is a possibility that even the huge Lone Star State might be stretched too thin to provide crowds sufficient to support all three events.

There's speculation that it's Texas that might end up dropping off the calendar after 2012, especially after an ongoing row erupted between TMS president Eddie Gossage and IndyCar drivers about the safety of the speedway resulting in angry exchanges over a mooted driver boycott of the race on safety grounds.

Texas is a high-banked 1.5-mile oval track, making it worryingly similar in many people's minds to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where a 15-car accident last October claimed the life of Dan Wheldon. Although the official inquiry into the accident concluded that the cause was due to the interaction between the old-model IndyCar and the unique nature of LVMS, a number of drivers and experts fear that a similar conjunction of factors and other safety issues could occur at Texas with the new DW12 chassis.

Gossage is also said to be less than happy at having lost the prestigious next race slot following the Indianapolis 500, which usually benefits from a boost after all the media coverage of the Indy 500. In 2012, the 'next after Indy' slot has been filled by the return to the IndyCar calendar of the Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle.




Related Pictures

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Randy Bernard at the announcement of the GoDaddy.com IndyCar Challenge. [Photo Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media]
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Tony Kanaan Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Canaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet finished in second-place. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to victory Saturday, June 6, 2015, taking the chequered flag at the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, races to victory Saturday, June 6, 2015, winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon with a sigh of relief in Victory Circle following his win in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon fires off the six-shooters in Victory Lane following his win in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is all smiles in Victory Circle following his win in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The green flag flies for the start of the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe gives the command to fire engines for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon takes the twin chequered flags to win the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon pulls into Victory Circle following his victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon comes in for service during the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 6 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Gabby Chaves waits on pit lane for his qualification attempt for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya waits on pit lane prior to his qualification attempt for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe and Will Power go side-by-side during practice for the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway - Friday, June 5 2015. (Photo by Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)

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RJM - Unregistered

March 29, 2012 11:44 PM

Bernard always strikes me as a very competent individual who knows what he is doing. Possibly the most exciting thing about the article though was Elkhart Lake...

SP3 - Unregistered

March 29, 2012 6:57 PM

Houston was a wasted weekend in the CART days and will be again now. "track" might be different and in a different location but street races in general are a waste and the weather there is miserable most of the time. If the promotion there is the same as before (or as for current races elsewhere) attendance will be nil.



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