INDYCAR Finally Inks 2012 China Race

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After years of discussion, the IZOD IndyCar Series will finally race in China, with a 2012 event on a 3.87-mile temporary street circuit in Qingdao, the Yellow Sea coastal city of 8.7 million between Beijing and Shanghai.  The area played host to 2008 Summer Olympics sailing competition.  This brings to four the international destinations where INDYCAR will compete with new cars and engines in the 2012 season: Toronto, Sao Paulo, and Edmonton are also on the schedule.

"As the world global economy continues to grow and evolve, China, the world's second-largest economy has become a top priority with most American businesses and the sponsors that are committed to INDYCAR," Randy Bernard, INDYCAR CEO said.  "Last year, at our sponsor summit, China was the No. 1 place our sponsors wanted to go outside of the United States," he revealed.

"We are very excited and truly grateful for the full support of the Chinese government, Qingdao city government and related government bureaus in providing the opportunity to bring the IZOD IndyCar Series to China.  We are committed to doing our part in making this a fantastic event weekend to be seen on the world stage," Bernard declared.

While the race will be contested on a temporary street circuit, the long-term objective is to construct a permanent racing and entertainment venue.  Qingdao, known for its German and French heritage, has a near-European atmosphere with the city often referred to as "China's Switzerland."  

The race is scheduled for August 19th, which coincides with the popular Qingdao International Beer Festival, a perfect tie-in for racing.

"The China automotive industry is experiencing explosive growth and it is just smart to begin establishing our brand and business rots in the China marketplace," said Terry Angstadt, commercial INDYCAR division president.  "Over the last three years - with full support of the Chinese government, Qingdao city government and related government bureaus - US-based INDYCAR representative ARD, China race promoter Yinzin Investment, as well as major sponsor Qingdao City Construction Investment Group have worked with our team in the realization of this historic race event," he said.

The balance of the 2012 season is still coming together; INDYCAR expects to make further announcements for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights schedules in the near future.

© 2011 Anne Proffit

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