ALMS off Mid-Ohio's 2013 schedule “It really was a scheduling issue,” track president Craig Rust said. “We had a good event in ’12 with them ... and we worked with them at length to find a spot.”
The world-class sports car series had been paired at Mid-Ohio with the Izod IndyCar Series since 2007, but it had not had a title sponsor since Honda dropped its naming rights a few years ago. According to Rust, it wasn’t a money or sponsorship issue.
“Anytime you’re trying to balance out a schedule it becomes tough,” Rust said, adding that ALMS wanted to hold just 10 events in 2013.
Mid-Ohio will continue to host the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2013, and when Grand-Am and ALMS merger for 2014, Rusts continues to hope to be a venue for the new series.
“All my conversations with ALMS and Grand-Am have been positive and they want to be a part of Mid-Ohio in 2014. I’m looking at this as a one-year anomaly. It’s unfortunate and disappointing, and I know it is for ALMS, too.”
ALMS will hold two events in August. A historic doubleheader with Grand-Am is slated for Aug. 10 and 11 at Road America, while it will compete with IndyCar at Baltimore on Aug. 31.
As for AMA Pro Road Racing returning to the schedule in 2013, Rust is optimistic.
“My sense is they’ll be back, but no agreement has been reached yet,” Rust said. “We’ve had a good relationship with AMA Pro Road Racing, and we never eliminate an event off our schedule lightly, especially with its tradition of racing at Mid-Ohio.
“I’m hopeful something will be done in the next few weeks, but until everything is signed, we don’t want to sell tickets and then have something change.”
• THREE FOR INDY: While ALMS is off the calendar for 2013, the Honda Indy 200 weekend will be supported by the Firestone Indy Lights, plus the Pirelli World Challenge and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Indy Lights will be running at Mid-Ohio for the first time since 2010. World Challenge and USF2000 are signed through 2014.
World Challenge debuted in Lexington in 1994 and has been on the schedule every year since 2002. USF2000 started racing at Mid-Ohio in 1995 and has run 12 times, but returned to the schedule for the first time in 2011 after a five-year absence.
“Both World Challenge and USF2000 have been great series for everyone involved from manufacturers, tracks, drivers and of course, the fans,” track owner Kim Green said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to having great racing at our tracks in 2013 and beyond and these series will no doubt help us fulfill that mission.” Mansfield News