Randy Bernard needs to firmly take the reins at INDYCAR. Photo: Anne ProffitEnlarge Photo
INDYCAR has cancelled its planned IZOD IndyCar Series August 19 street race in Qingdao, China after several months of work to keep the event on the program. The race has been on and off the docket for a couple of years and was announced as an inaugural contest November 10, 2011.
INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said he is "not closing the door" on opportunities for a future race in China - but now is not the time.
"We wanted to give the China race every opportunity to move forward and be successful, but INDYCAR has been notified by the promoter that the event is cancelled for 2012," Bernard stated.
"We were informed that the promoter was trying to move the event to a different date and location. After ongoing discussions regarding alternative dates, as well as doing our due diligence in exploring alternate venues in China, the promoter cancelled the event. A decision had to be made to allow INDYCAR and its participants to plan accordingly for the second half of the season."
Rumors have been flying for the past several weeks about the possibility of this cancellation; from the start of the season some team owners questioned the veracity of traveling to the country at this time.
Bernard has said that INDYCAR is investigating a possible replacement for Qingdao. In order to fulfill its current contracts, INDYCAR needs to have a 16-race schedule and the removal of this race brings the total to 15.
"We are working with our promoters that host events in the second half of our calendar, to keep them apprised of how the date of a potential new race could impact our current schedule," Bernard advised.
The Twitter universe has made suggestions ranging from a second race at Texas Motor Speedway (which used to host two IZOD IndyCar Series rounds), former venues Michigan International Speedway, Phoenix International Speedway, Portland International Raceway, Road America and even the long-closed Nazareth Speedway.