Qingdao IndyCar race to be cancelled

UPDATE #6 A reader writes, Dear AR1.com , As a mandarin speaking American residing in Qingdao I have been following with interest the drama surrounding the race in Qingdao. I decided to see what the real story is and contacted Yinxin Investment to ask whether the race was indeed cancelled because of a conflict with the Beer Festival, in which the answer was yes. Why? They didn't want to run the race alongside the Beer Festival was because the local government did not feel comfortable to run the event having no prior knowledge of motorsport alongside the Beer Festival, the city's biggest event. Simply the workload required along with the fear of screwing up on the international stage would have meant the city would have lost 'face' and looked to be made stupid. As I dug a little deeper it became apparent that Yinxin are exploring two other cities (unknown) to stage the race sometime in September with a deadline by the end of June. As we know now, time was simply just too tight and the event cancelled altogether. Morris Johnson

06/13/12 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's news that the Qingdao mayor did not want the race this year during their big beer festival and so it was cancelled.

06/10/12 When in doubt, follow the money. For the second time in a year, an Izod IndyCar Series race is "clouded in uncertainty," according to Tripp Mickle in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Sources said that the promoter of the series' August race in China has not paid a sanctioning fee, and the sanctioning body is considering moving the date of the race. Sources valued the sanctioning fee at $8-$10M. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard declined requests to speak about the China race. Bernard said during a news conference before IndyCar's recent race at Belle Isle in Michigan the race was not "100 percent" guaranteed. Bernard added, "We have a back-up plan. That's what's most important. But right now I want to make sure China has every opportunity to succeed. We continue to work with our promoter in China." The China race is scheduled for Aug. 19 in Qingdao, a city of 8.7 million along the East China Sea. The event is being promoted by Yinxin Investment and "trumpeted as the sport's first race in China." Several teams "hoped the race would open the opportunity to land new sponsorships with international companies interested in the Asian market or Asian-based companies," but team executives have not been able to put together sales pitches because of the uncertainty around the race SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/11 issue

06/10/12 As for the Aug. 19 race in Qingdao, China, Randy Bernard said a decision has to be made "within three or four days" on whether to make the trip. He said there are political forces working against the event. Indy Star [Editor's Note: You know darn well that Bernie Ecclestone does not want IndyCar racing in China so we suspect he will do whatever it takes to make sure that race is cancelled, including greasing the new mayor's pockets.]

06/09/12 In Texas Saturday IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said he expects to announce the 2013 schedule by mid-September. A decision about going forward with the first IZOD IndyCar Series race in China, scheduled for mid-August, will be made next week. "I know the urgency of getting this done, one way or another," Bernard said. Bernard said he has an option if the race is scrapped, but it would likely become the new season finale. California on Sept. 15 is currently the scheduled finale, a spot it inherited when IndyCar canceled Las Vegas after Wheldon’s death.

“There is a possibility of that, I am not ruling that out," Bernard said, adding track president Gillian Zucker has inquired about the schedule.

“Unfortunately, until we have resolution on this, I’ve been very careful. I think Gillian has done a great job promoting and I want to make sure she has a very successful event."

Rumored Qingdao Track Map as revealed by AR1.com

05/16/12 The Chinese processes are painfully slow and deliberate. The Mayor was officially announced on March 31, one month later than expected. The participating jurisdictions (four in total) are all in planning mode with IndyCar's promoter on operational planning. Ticket/hospitality sales to the Teams are underway now. We can reveal a more detailed track map to the right.

Final pricing confirmation has been the delay. Now completed. Many things are cued up (completed) awaiting official government paperwork from the Mayor's office on the event operational plan approval. This touches all the city services, who is in charge of what etc..

We hear the promoter already has their title and two other major category sponsors confirmed but they can't get ahead of the government process. China protocol. When things spring publicly, it will more of a waterfall effect than dribble out.

05/04/12 A reader asks, Dear AR1.com, I read all this press about the Baltimore GP being in shambles – that time is running out to sell sponsorship and tickets for the early September race, yet there still has not been one iota of press in China about the IndyCar race in Qingdao three weeks earlier. Stick a fork in it, this race is dead as I suspect the new mayor came in and he is looking for ways to kill the race off. No announcement, no Chinese driver, no sponsor, Penske doesn't want to go. Another Angstadt deal gone bad and another black eye for IndyCar. Mordichai Rosen, Los Angeles

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