18 September 2014
IndyCar: Series confirms return to Brazil in 2015
The Verizon IndyCar Series will return to Brazil next year, with a new event scheduled for the capital city of Brasilia in March.
Brazil is back on the schedule for the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season, it was confirmed on Thursday.
IndyCar had previously held in a street race in Sao Paulo from 2010 until 2013, but the event was dropped this year and effectively replaced by the new road course event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.
Now the series has announced that it will get back to racing in Brazil next season, albeit with a change of venue to a brand new location at Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in the capital city of Brasilia which will be held on March 8, 2015.
"We're eager to continue IndyCar's rich history of racing in Brazil with today's announcement of a Verizon IndyCar Series event in Brasília next season," said Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar's parent company Hulman & Company.
"This event is an instrumental step in the growth of IndyCar as we continue to execute our strategy of adding race markets and events that drive us forward," Mile continued. "IndyCar fans throughout the world are unbelievably enthusiastic about our sport and we're excited to showcase another thrilling event next season."
"It's awesome news that we're going back to Brazil next year," said Tony Kanaan, the 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner, of the news that the series was heading back to his homeland next year. "The fans there love IndyCar and support the race and we also have Brazilian sponsors involved in our sport, so racing in my home country is a no-brainer.
"I raced at the Brasília track a very long time ago, in the beginning of the 90s, but I remember it being very cool," he recalled. "I can't wait for IndyCar to get back there in 2015."
Castroneves, the three-time Indianapolis 500 winner who recently finished second in the Verizon IndyCar Series championship behind his team mate Will Power, echoed Kanaan's sentiments.
"We are living in great times for Brazil," contributed Kanaan's compatriot and three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves. "The World Cup was there a few months ago. The Olympics are coming to Rio de Janeiro in 2016. In between we will see the return of the Verizon IndyCar Series beginning in 2015.
"Brazilians are very proud of their sports heritage, including motorsports," he pointed out. "I know it will be a great event at a new venue for us in the capital of Brasilia, the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet, named after one of our greatest drivers. I love racing in my native country and I hope to be the winner next year."
Before the recent Sao Paulo venue, the CART World Series had previously raced in Rio de Janeiro from 1996 to 2000 on an oval circuit that was also named in honour of Piquet.
"The racetrack is located close to downtown and we expect more than 100,000 fans at the event," Brasilia Governor Agnelo Queiroz had explained when visiting the US earlier this year. "The racetrack is a permanent facility and it was built in the centre of the city in 1973, and we were determined in our improvements that the track should meet the safety and performance requirements for IndyCar, F1 and MotoGP.
"I look forward to having the race in Brasilia; it will be a marvellous event not only for developing Brasilia but for all of Brazil," Governor Queiroz added. "We truly hope the event will bring investments and economic development for the whole Central region of Brazil."
Brasilia joins NOLA Motorsports Park just outside New Orleans in Louisiana as the second new venue to be added to the 2015 IndyCar Series calendar for next season.
Series officials are currently finalising the entire 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, which will be announced in due course over the off-season.
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