SBD/August 23, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

IndyCar Considering Races Outside Of North America During Winter Offseason

Int'l winter races would give IndyCar teams new ways to generate revenue

IndyCar is targeting a "move outside North America by 2015 with a series of off-season races around the world that could form a winter championship," according to Gary Watkins of AUTOSPORT.com. The races would give IndyCar teams "new revenue streams over an off-season that looks likely to grow from next year, when the calendar could climax as early as the end of August." IndyCar President of Operations & Competition Derrick Walker described several possibilities, including "non-points races, a winter or regional championship and even the possibility of the IndyCar Series starting overseas in January or February." Walker: "Our teams need income and an international component to their season would strengthen their financial position. ... If there are races in January or February leading into the domestic series, then it might make sense to include them in our championship." Watkins reported Europe-based World Series Operations is "known to have put forward plans for a winter series under the IndyCar Global Challenge banner" and has proposed a "five-event schedule starting at the end of 2014" (AUTOSPORT.com, 8/22). NBCSPORTS.com's Chris Estrada wrote an int'l series would give the fans something to look forward to and would give teams "something to work on -- and perhaps a means to try out prospective drivers for the season to come." It also would make it easier for IndyCar to "end their official year in time to get out of the way of the all-conquering" NFL. However, one of IndyCar's "biggest problems remain at home," and it might need to "settle those issues first before taking on other, more 'global' projects" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/22).

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