SBD/Issue 41/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Australia IRL Event Ends Due To Unresolved Scheduling Dispute

Scheduling Dispute Brings
Australia IRL Event To An End
The IRL Nikon Indy 300 at Surfers Paradise, Australia, "has been axed after the Queensland Government and race bosses failed to reach an agreement on its future," according to the AAP. Queensland Sports Minister Judy Spence said that the government "had opposed moves by the Indy Racing League to move the event from October to March." Spence: "They have an expanded series of events and our Indy clashes with the early part of the American Football season. Moving our race to March as they had requested was not an option due to the clash with the F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne and the Clipsal V8 race in Adelaide" (AAP, 11/11). The INDIANAPOLIS STAR reported negotiations "broke down after local backers and series organizers failed to agree on the timing of the event." Surfers Paradise had held an open-wheel race every year since '91 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 11/11).

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: IndyCar Series sources said that driver Danica Patrick "will go wherever she can get the biggest check and they would not be surprised if she tried to line up a NASCAR deal." But SI.com's Bruce Martin reported "after watching former Indy Car drivers [Sam] Hornish Jr. struggle and Dario Franchitti fail in NASCAR, few observers think it would be the wisest move she could make." Martin wrote Patrick "remains a big name in the IndyCar Series despite winning only one time, but once the novelty wore off in NASCAR, Patrick would get lost in the crowd" (SI.com, 11/10).

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