IndyCar schedule – Mexico City (12th Update)

Stick a fork in the Mexico City race, it's done for 2018 and we doubt it will happen in 2019 either.
Stick a fork in the Mexico City race, it's done for 2019 and we doubt it will happen in ever.

UPDATE As we predicted, IndyCar is not going to any new overseas races as they are clueless how to make their series popular globally. They are becoming invisible and will go dark globally after this season. In most countries IndyCar will become an unknown entity with the new NBC TV deal.

“No new news," IndyCar CEO Mark Miles said about the proposed road course race at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez to the Indy Star. “It’s out there sort of simmering but not boiling."

11/30/17 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today. If you read through all the updates to this rumor below, while other outlets were reporting the Mexico City race was 99% certain, AR1 predicted it had less than 5% chance of happening. We were correct, it's dead.

INDYCAR announced today that discussions regarding a Verizon IndyCar Series race in Mexico City are continuing, but that the proposed event will not be added to the 2018 schedule. Future talks will focus on plans to host this event at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course as early as 2019.

“INDYCAR is invested in the process of putting together the right deal with a partner we are certain can deliver this race," said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “We are not at the point where we can finalize a contract for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season and felt that we couldn’t delay the decision any longer, in fairness to our teams, manufacturers and other stakeholders who need time to properly prepare for an event of such magnitude. INDYCAR appreciates the rich racing history in Mexico and we would like to be part of that once again. We will keep working with the intent of making an INDYCAR event in Mexico City a reality in the future."

Don't hold your breath.

CART drew huge crowds back in the day for Mexico City. The race was supposed to be part of the 2008 Champ Car schedule, but became a casualty of the merger.
When CART ran in Mexico City the crowd looked like this past weekend's F1 race. Let's see how IndyCar does since Tony George put his hammer to the sport

10/30/17 Sources close to the race's organizers have told Motorsport.com that a deal for IndyCar's return to the city-owned track is now "99 percent done".

The race would be held on August 3-5, as the 14th round of an 18-race Verizon IndyCar Series schedule. For the track, it effectively replaces the World Endurance Championship, which will not be racing in Mexico next year.

On Saturday evening, Hulman & Co. (parent company to IndyCar) CEO Mark Miles confirmed to Motorsport.com that "if the race happens, it's August 5, at least for 2018," and that an alternative date "is really not even in question."

Despite Miles' understandable reticence to consider a new deal done until it's finally signed off, local sources say the reason for the delay in announcing the deal is to avoid detracting attention from this weekend Formula 1 race.

Rnd. Date Race Name Track
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (R) Streets of St. Petersburg
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix GP (O) Phoenix International Raceway
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (R) Streets of Long Beach
4 April 22 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway RC
6 May 27 102st Indianapolis 500 presented by Penngrade (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7&8 June 2 & 3 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
9 June 9 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (R) Exhibition Place
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
14 August 5 Mexico City (R) Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
15 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway
16 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 (O) Gateway Motorsports Park
17 Sept 2 Grand Prix Portland (R) Portland International Raceway
18 Sept 16 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway

10/24/17 AR1.com had the date for the Mexico City pegged for several months below. RACER reports a date at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, current site of FIA Formula 1, Formula E and World Endurance Championship events, is scheduled for the weekend of August 3-5, which would fall directly after the Mid-Ohio IndyCar weekend. Following Mexico, teams would have a short break until the Pocono round on August 19.

It's believed all of the agreements are in place, and have been for some time, and only the sourcing of a primary sponsor for the event is slowing its formal confirmation.

"We're certainly optimistic about racing at Mexico City, and there haven't been any hurdles in any of the negotiations, so we're looking forward to the possibilities," IndyCar competition president Jay Frye told RACER.

10/12/17 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with today's announcement. As our latest version below predicted, the Watkins Glen race has been lost and a Mexico City race isn't going to happen as Mark Miles has failed once again to expand IndyCar in the international arena.

That doesn’t mean the event is completely off the table for next season. In fact, IndyCar CEO Mark Miles left the door open for a race next fall at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

"Yes, I think there is still a possibility of adding Mexico City for next year," Miles said during a teleconference discussing the new calendar. "We felt like with Portland being nailed down, most of the schedule, a schedule we're happy to have as our final schedule for next year is set, ought to be public.

"But there is ongoing work in Mexico City to get to the track there. I think it's quite close. We're optimistic about the possibility, even yet to be added for the 2018 schedule."

"If it happens, it will be in there probably just after Mid-Ohio, where we have a little longer break in the middle of our summer than we would like," Miles said. "Everything we know about the opportunity there is exciting. Great track, great facility.

"It’s obviously a huge market. A lot of open-wheel fans and IndyCar fans are there. We hope that can come together, but this schedule works for us if it doesn't."

Miles said IndyCar has not yet established a hard deadline for the Mexico City race.

"That would be a combination of what they would need time-wise to be successful in promoting an event in early August," Miles said. "But from our perspective, it could be added down the road."

10/11/17 Sources close to matter confirm that Watkins Glen will not be on the '18 IndyCar schedule which is expected to be released Thursday. Because of low TV ratings on cable channel NBCSN IndyCar loses races as fast as they add them. Will they throw another race together last minute to replace The Glen, one that might last year or two and then fail? We shall know soon if Portland is replacing Watkins Glen.

10/08/17 Now we know the real reason for the IndyCar schedule delay, and it's not Mexico City. ISC is losing their shirt on the Watkins Glen IndyCar weekend and asked for a different date. IndyCar said there are no other dates, so ISC essentially told IndyCar to go pound sand. Now IndyCar is scrambling for a replacement, and Portland and Nashville are being mentioned. Portland would draw maybe a couple thousand fans and Nashville is too dangerous for IndyCars – how soon we forget all the wrecks.

At this point IndyCar would just be better off reducing their schedule again. With that weekend's race on NBCSN with low TV ratings, it is a money-losing proposition for all involved. If IndyCar switches all races to network TV in 2019 with a new TV deal, then each race weekend becomes financially viable.

One other change to the schedule we had published, Barber moves up one weekend to avoid the NASCAR Talladega weekend.

Why not move the Barber race to September to avoid 'Dega and become the season finale? At least it would look better on TV than Sonoma – with its sparse crowd IndyCar looks like a loser for its grand finale. Of course the Frances have wanted IndyCar dead for years, so making them look like a loser for their grand finale fits their plan perfectly. They will do whatever they can to hold onto that date to ensure IndyCar gets egg on their face every September…………and IndyCar isn't smart enough to see what's going on, and in fact the Frances negotiated a September date at the Speedway for the Brickyard 400 to ensure IndyCar can never end their season with a 400-miler at the Speedway in grand style. The Frances are simply too smart for them.

It's doubtful Mexico City will happen so IndyCar could be down to 16 races in 2018. When you have a bad TV package and teams are losing money, the less races the better.

AR1.com's latest predicted 2018 schedule

Rnd. Date Race Name Track
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (R) Streets of St. Petersburg
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (O) Phoenix International Raceway
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (R) Streets of Long Beach
4 April 22 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
6 May 27 102st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7 & 8 June 2 & 3 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
9 June 9 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (R) Exhibition Place
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
TBD August 5 Mexico City (Tentative, <5% chance of happening) (R) Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
14 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway
15 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline (O) Gateway Motorsports Park
16 September 2 Grand Prix Portland (R) Portland International Raceway
17 September 16 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway

10/03/17 Notes from IndyStar’s conversation with IndyCar CEO Miles:

>> Miles remains optimistic that a 2018 schedule will include a race in Mexico City, but said IndyCar is announcing its calendar “with or without them" by the end of next week. Miles added that it’s possible the schedule could be amended after next week if the deal with the Mexican organizers comes together later.

>> There have been reports that Verizon plans to leave IndyCar following the expiration of its contract with the series in 2018. Miles did not confirm or deny those reports, but said the two parties' “relationship will change."

"We haven’t completely concluded (negotiations), and I’m not going to add anything else today, but I think it will be clear soon." Miles said. He added that IndyCar has not begun to “prospect for" another potential title sponsor to replace Verizon — should it leave — as that would be “inappropriate until things are clear with Verizon."

>> After an underwhelming crowd showed up for the 2017 championship finale at Sonoma Raceway, some have called for a reconfiguration of the IndyCar calendar, many hoping to end the season on an oval.

Miles said that while the 2018 calendar will look largely the same as this year’s, he is willing to look at the possibility of making some changes for the years to come and acknowledged that an oval finale would be ideal.

“For 2019 and beyond, we’ll have the opportunity to take as a fresh a look as we’ll get because we’ve set it up so that almost all of our promoter agreements go through 2018. So as soon as we get the (2018) calendar out, we’ll start to work re-imagine the kind of improvements we could have for 2019."

>> Do not expect IndyCar to sing a different tune regarding the local blackout for the Indianapolis 500 anytime soon.

"Our outlook hasn't changed," Miles said. "This is an event, because of its enormity, and the number of spectators on site in order to make it successful, we have to be pretty risk averse in terms of the dynamic of live television and spectator attendance.

"We understand there are people who can't get here who would love to watch it live, and that's not far from top of mind. But at the same time, the race is shown same day, with a huge TV audience watching it here. And it is available by radio live, and we get a pretty good cross-section of people from out community out here to watch." Jim Ayello/IndyStar

AR1.com's latest predicted 2018 schedule

Rnd. Date Race Name Track
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (R) Streets of St. Petersburg
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (O) Phoenix International Raceway
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (R) Streets of Long Beach
4 April 29 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
6 May 27 102st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7 & 8 June 3 & 4 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
9 June 9 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (R) Exhibition Place
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
TBD August 5 Mexico City (Tentative, <5% chance of happening) (R) Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
14 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway
15 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline (O) Gateway Motorsports Park
16 September 2 Grand Prix at The Glen (R) Watkins Glen International
17 September 16 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway

09/28/17 Though IndyCar CEO Mark Miles had hoped a 2018 season schedule would be finalized within eight to 10 days of the 2017 finale at Sonoma, Mother Nature had other ideas.

On Sept. 19, a massive earthquake, and its aftershocks, rocked Mexico City – the location of the much-rumored additional race Miles and Co. had hoped to add to the schedule.

The country, and presumably the still-to-be-named organizers of the race, are now focused on recovery from the deadly disaster.

Through an IndyCar spokesman, Miles said that though the earthquake affected the timing of finalizing negotiations and announcing the race, the process of securing a Mexico event “is ongoing." He added that he remains optimistic a deal will be struck in the future, though he could not specify a timeline.

The location of the proposed race, Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, was reportedly undamaged by the magnitude 7.1 earthquake, so it is still possible for IndyCar to race at the near 3-mile road course in 2018.

With all 17 events from 2017 schedule confirmed for 2018, the race in Mexico is the only remaining unknown. Jim Ayello/Indy Star

AR1.com does not expect it to happen. Who in Mexico will cover the huge losses the race will generate?

09/16/17 “We’re planning to announce the 2018 schedule either Sept. 25, 26 or 27," Mark Miles told IndyStar on Saturday.

While most of the schedule is essentially complete — all 17 events from 2017 will be back on the calendar in 2018 — the announcement will come with an update on the anticipated event at Mexico City’s Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, the near 3-mile road course situated within a park that currently hosts Formula 1 and once hosted NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Miles recently told USA Today Sports’ Brant James that he had hoped to announce the news this weekend at Sonoma, but “if I think four days later we can get it done, we’ll give them four more days."

It seems now he is prepared to give the organizers, whom he would not identify, even more time in hopes of a 2018 season with Indy cars racing all across North America. If Bernie Ecclestone was still running F1 it would be a cold day in hell that IndyCar would get a race at the same track as F1.

09/04/17 Some changes to our projected 2018 IndyCar schedule based on what we learned at Watkins Glen. There will be no race in Calgary as had been rumored, Mexico City, if it happens, will slot in between Mid-Ohio and Pocono (instead of in October) and we hear one of the existing Detroit races will disappear and IndyCar will have only a 16-race 2018 schedule, 17 if Mexico City comes on board.

Rnd. Date Race Name Track
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (R) Streets of St. Petersburg
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (O) Phoenix International Raceway
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (R) Streets of Long Beach
4 April 22 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
6 May 27 102st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7 June 3 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
8 June 9 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway
9 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America
10 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway
11 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (R) Exhibition Place
12 July 29 Honda Indy 200 (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
13 August 5 Mexico City (Tentative, <5% chance of happening) (R) Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
14 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway
15 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline (O) Gateway Motorsports Park
16 September 2 Grand Prix at The Glen (R) Watkins Glen International
17 September 16 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway

CART drew huge crowds back in the day for Mexico City. The race was supposed to be part of the 2008 Champ Car schedule, but became a casualty of the merger.

08/03/17

IndyCar is small potatoes compared to F1 in every measurable way. We think the best scenario for IndyCar is to be the Saturday race on the F1 weekend. The crowds are huge for F1 qualifying and the 2018 IndyCar will look so much better than the F1 cars with a Halo, plus the engines will sound so much better, that IndyCar will gain a lot of new fans from the exposure. We suspect the fans will enjoy the IndyCar race a lot more. And how many F1 drivers will want to try their hand at an IndyCar? We bet Alonso will want to give it a try on a road course this time.

08/03/17 In this Racer.com article, Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles says there is "serious dialogue" about a Mexico City IndyCar race for October of 2018. While Mexico City was and could again be a fine venue for IndyCar, our immediate concern is the Formula One race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is scheduled for October 28, 2018. So, IndyCar and F1 will race on the same track in the same month?

Sorry, but unless the plan is to have some sort of joint IndyCar/F1 weekend (which would be shocking), someone will have to explain to us the logic behind this. To assume Mexican fans will purchase tickets to both races is lunacy, and if given a choice, they will buy tickets to see Formula One over IndyCar. Period.

If the race were to go ahead as proposed it will be a failure. Furthermore, IndyCar's ability to grow will be further marginalized by another failed international attempt.

We've updated the proposed Mexico City race on our schedule below.

Rnd. Date Race Name Track
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (R) Streets of St. Petersburg
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (O) Phoenix International Raceway
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (R) Streets of Long Beach
4 April 29 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
6 May 27 102st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7 June 2 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 1 (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
8 June 3 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2 (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
9 June 9 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (R) Exhibition Place
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
14 August 5 Calgary, Canada (10% chance of happening) (R) TBD around the Stampede
15 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway
16 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline (O) Gateway Motorsports Park
17 September 2 Grand Prix at The Glen (R) Watkins Glen International
18 September 16 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway
19 October ?? Mexico City (R) Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

07/10/17 Here is what the rumor mill says the 2018 IndyCar schedule will be: Don't expect any of those overseas races Mark Miles has been talking about for five years to materialize. The finances simply do not work – they are a 'pipe' dream.

Rnd. Date Race Name Track
1 March 11 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (R) Streets of St. Petersburg
2 April 7 Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix (O) Phoenix International Raceway
3 April 15 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (R) Streets of Long Beach
4 April 29 Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama (R) Barber Motorsports Park
5 May 12 IndyCar Grand Prix (R) Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
6 May 27 102st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade (O) Indianapolis Motor Speedway
7 June 2 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 1 (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
8 June 3 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix Race 2 (R) The Raceway at Belle Isle Park
9 June 9 Rainguard Water Sealers 600 (O) Texas Motor Speedway
10 June 24 Kohler Grand Prix (R) Road America
11 July 8 Iowa Corn 300 (O) Iowa Speedway
12 July 15 Honda Indy Toronto (R) Exhibition Place
13 July 29 Honda Indy 200 (R) Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
14 August 5 Calgary, Canada (10% chance of happening) (R) TBD around the Stampede
15 August 19 ABC Supply 500 (O) Pocono Raceway
16 August 25 Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline (O) Gateway Motorsports Park
17 September 2 Grand Prix at The Glen (R) Watkins Glen International
18 September 16 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (R) Sonoma Raceway

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