SBD/August 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Change Of Scenery: IndyCar Planning To Open '15 Schedule With Races In Dubai, Brazil

Miles said the int'l races will not affect the number of U.S. weekends
The '15 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule will probably be "busier than the current 18-race schedule," as a plan to "open the season with two international races is coming closer to reality," according to Marshall Pruett of RACER.com. The season would begin with a "proposed street race in Dubai," with Feb. 14-15 "mentioned as the target date." The weekend of March 7-8 is "said to be earmarked" for a road-course race in Brasilia at the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet. Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said, "We're very optimistic about having Brasilia on our calendar the first weekend in March next year. And we're pretty optimistic about having one that's not in Brazil before that, so if we get both done, we'd be starting in the first half of February -- six or seven weeks earlier this this year." He added, "Those international races would not affect the number of U.S. weekends because we expect that number, at least that number of weekends, to stay the same. ... Those races will reflect well on the series; will get us exposed to different parts of the world -- especially the first one, if we can pull that off, and I think that can leverage more investment in the series from non-U.S. companies." Pruett noted after IndyCar completes its int'l stops, a "repeat of the fast-paced scheduling formula" that helped determine this year's schedule appears likely for '15. The domestic portion of the schedule will begin in St. Pete on March 29 (RACER.com, 8/5).

WHAT TIME IS IT? IndyCar announced a deal making Tag Heuer the official watch of the series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Assets include sponsorship of the Tag Heuer Pit Stop Challenge, held annually on Carb Day before the Indianapolis 500. The brand also has created a special edition Indy 500 Chronograph that features a grey stylized dial patterned after the track's brick start/finish line and a printed "INDY 500" logo inside the counter (IndyCar). It is unclear "whether drivers or teams with other personal watch contracts will need to switch" (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/6).
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