Calgary to be 3rd Canadian IndyCar race? UPDATE #2 As for Octane’s plans to hold a race in Calgary in the near future, IRL Commercial Division President Terry Angstadt said “there are some rumblings at this point but nothing to be taken seriously.” Edmonton Journal
07/22/10 The bosses at Octane Racing Group denied on Wednesday that they are considering a second race in Alberta after signing a deal to run the Honda Indy Edmonton.
Sources had told the Toronto Sun that Octane -- the same group that promotes both the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix and the NASCAR Nationwide NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal -- had planned a meeting with Calgary officials to discuss the possibility of putting a race in the Stampede City by 2012.
"We have not talked to anyone in Calgary," Normand Prieur, spokesman for Octane said in a telephone interview. "Octane is 100% concentrating on the Honda Indy Edmonton."
Prieur emphasized that while the group considers Calgary a very viable race market, to try to promote two IndyCar events in such close proximity would be "very difficult."
In fact, Prieur said Octane officials were waiting late Wednesday afternoon for the results of the Edmonton City Council vote to name them promoters of the IndyCar race in that city.
However, that vote was expected to be just a formality, rubber stamping a deal that has been in the worked for weeks.
In its heyday the CART/Champ Car World Series had three Canadian races -- Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
But when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics that race was cancelled because the athletes village was built where the race track had been.
The Montreal race died an ignominious death after attendance faltered badly.
The Molson Sports and Entertainment group had thought that Calgary would be the perfect site to replace Vancouver, but then Molson dropped out of the race promotion business.
It did, however, leave behind fairly details plans for how to build a temporary street course that would include the Calgary Stampede grounds.
Prieur said neither he nor anybody from Octane Racing had seen or heard of those plans. Canoe - Slam! Sports
07/21/10 Back when there were three Champ Car IndyCar races in Canada — in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal — the folks at Molson Sports and Entertainment were on the hunt for a fourth Canadian date.
After all, the two that Molson ran — Toronto and Vancouver — were huge successes.
The Montreal Indy race, strangely, never really caught on in a city that is mad for motorsports. Most observers blamed that on the fact that the local Montreal Formula One Canadian Grand Prix promoters — who controlled the rights to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve — just weren’t interested in competition and some even accused them of deliberately sabotaging the event. zzzz
Now, nearly a decade later with Molson long gone from the racing scene in this country, it is curiously ironic that their work in paving the way for big time racing in Western Canada is being picked by a new group of Montreal race promoters that, for the most part, is made up of the same executives that buried the series in La Belle Province.
Montreal’s Octane Group most certainly will get the rights to operate the Honda Indy Edmonton for the next three years on Wednesday.
That deal was actually reached on July 5, according to sources who talked to Sun Media, and it will be formally rubber-stamped Wednesday by Edmonton City Council.
More interesting, however, may be the work being done in Calgary by Octane.
The same source that correctly told Sun Media last month about the Edmonton deal, now says Calgary is the new focus for the group.
“Molson really did all the groundwork years ago, when it considered Calgary as a replacement for Vancouver which lost its race due to Winter Olympic construction,” Sun Media was told.
So while Octane bosses are in Edmonton announcing their deal for that race, a group of them will detour to Calgary to talk to city officials about putting the Stampede City on the IndyCar calendar as soon as 2012. Toronto Sun