Calgary or Quebec to replace Edmonton IndyCar race? UPDATE #4 NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Patrick Carpentier thinks that the suggestion that the cancelled Edmonton IZOD IndyCar series could be moved to Montreal or even Quebec City in 2011 is unrealistic.
Carpentier, who hails from the Montreal suburb of Joliette, said on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway that with two major racing events already in the summer in his hometown, the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in June and the NASCAR Nationwide NAPA 200 in August, he doesn't think the economy could support a third event.
"The possibility of running at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the NASCAR weekend is interesting but I think the promoters would not want to pay two big sanctioning fees on the same weekend," he said.
As for moving the Edmonton race to Quebec City, Carpentier said he understood that it would be very difficult to build a temporary street course in the provincial capital.
"I think they already looked at Quebec and found the track would be too long," he said.
Carpentier, however, hopes that the Edmonton race at least stays in Canada.
"I think both Vancouver and Calgary could support an IndyCar race," he said. Toronto Sun11/07/10 The removal of Edmonton leaves the IndyCar series with a small 15-race schedule that begins March 27 in St. Petersburg, Fla. and ends....well we are not sure where it ends because IndyCar has yet to close the deal for a Las Vegas finale, indicating it's not a slam dunk. Why? Because last time IndyCar raced in Las Vegas you could shoot a cannon in the grandstands and not hit anyone. What will be different this time? Well rumor has it that Randy Bernard is trying to put together a street race on the Strip. That will be difficult to pull off - Champ Car tried but had to settle for a race in the old part of Las Vegas on an Easter Sunday (bad idea) and still the old casino owners complained. As for an Edmonton replacement, IndyCar should race at Mont Tremblant, where Champ Car raced, until another big city event can be found to replace Edmonton. With NASCAR and Jeff Gordon looking to build an oval track outside of Toronto, you can bet IndyCar's enemy in Daytona is working overtime to see IndyCar fail in Canada so NASCAR could monopolize Canada as well - a natural expansion north for the Daytona dictatorship.
11/04/10 IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard, who Tuesday traveled to Las Vegas where he’s trying to wrap up a deal to close the 2011 season, got back in Indy just in time for the bad news.
“It was a shot out of the blue and I’m extremely disappointed because we had a press conference last summer where the Mayor stood up, shook hands and said we had a deal,” said Bernard. “My immediate thought is that we want to keep two events in Canada because we have such a solid fan base so we’ll see what we can do.”
Octane, which successfully promoted the Formula One and NASCAR races in Montreal this year, is interested in staging a race in Quebec City, along with a group led by Andre Azzi, co-owner of Alex Tagliani's FAZZT IndyCar team and another entity trying to work through longtime car owner Derrick Walker. zzzz
“It looks like we have three groups interested in Quebec and it’s a huge opportunity if Quebec wants to get on our calendar,” said Bernard. SPEEDTV.com
Editor's Note: 11/03/10 With Edmonton in their rear-view mirror, organizers of the city’s cancelled IndyCar event say they’d eagerly explore making at least a pit stop in Calgary next summer.
Recall these two previous rumors from July, so the news of Edmonton going away, or Calgary replacing it, should come as no shock to AR1.com readers:
Calgary to become 3rd Canadian IndyCar race
Edmonton Race in Jeopardy zzzz
After logistical and funding problems surrounding Edmonton’s downtown airport track tanked the event there, Montreal-based Octane Racing Group spokesman Normand Prieur said they’re determined to find a western Canadian venue for next July and Calgary could be considered.
“We’re interested in the western market because we want to expand our business,” said Prieur.
“Calgary would be a nice place as long as there’s a willingness in the Calgary market ... it’s a great city.
“If somebody gets in touch with us, we’d be listening.”
Prieur said he’s well aware of the Calgary fan base that for years has supported Race City Motorsport Park.
The Octane Group, he added, is still coming to terms with the collapse of its Edmonton plans and said organizing for an alternate location -- which normally markets tickets at Christmas -- is a long road.
“It’s very frustrating -- there’s not much time ahead of us and you don’t plan this kind of thing out of a hat,” said Prieur.
The event -- which in Edmonton spanned three days -- would require an expenditure of $5-$15 million depending on whether a permanent track venue or city streets were used, he said.
Tourism Calgary’s Maro De Iaco said the group would study the feasibility of hosting IndyCar if they receive a proposal, calling it potentially promising.
“International events like the Indy are very important events for a city and if they’re annual or anchored, they have the potential for having incremental and long-term impact,” said De Iaco, Tourism Calgary’s vice-president of sales and sports events.
“These events cost a lot of money and we’re very selective and strategic about the events we pursue.”
Finding a proper course is a priority and major challenge, he added.
“But there’s definitely options,” added De Iaco. Toronto Sun11/03/10 After 15 years in Vancouver and six in Edmonton, will Western Canada’s IndyCar auto race make its next stop in Calgary?
In making the announcement there will be no 2011 Honda Indy Edmonton, race promoter Octane Motorsports Events Inc. offered hope for the event to be moved elsewhere.
“We have built a good relationship with the Indy Racing League and in the next few weeks we will explore ways to have the 2011 race located at another venue, if possible to the benefit of Western Canadian fans,” said Octane head Francois Dumontier.
“However, Edmonton has been our only scenario.”
Spokesman Normand Prieur said it was all Edmonton all the way.
“We would talk to Calgary. But we’re still digesting this news. We’ll see.”
There is also a chance Octane could take on the race if there were backing in Montreal, where there had been Champ Car Series races, or in Mont Tremblant, where major auto racing events have also previously been held.
Octane runs the Canadian Grand Prix on the worldwide Formula 1 circuit and, in July, it was announced that it was taking over the running of the Edmonton race. The group also produces the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal.
One of the things fueling the idea that Calgary might take over the race is that when the Molson Vancouver Indy of the Champ Car Series was forced to find a new home — it lost its race course due to construction of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games athletes village — a study was done at the time on holding the race in Calgary.
Instead, the race ended up in Edmonton due to more aggressive promotion and the then-ideal City Centre Airport venue.
Calgary would definitely have a strong supporter in Randy Bernard, who last year took over as IndyCar Series CEO. He spent the previous 15 years as a professional rodeo executive and has spent significant time involved with the Calgary Stampede. Edmonton Sun