Australian Official Bullish On Taking IndyCar Back Down Under
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has "launched an ambitious bid" to bring the IndyCar Series back to Australia in '20, and has "invited IndyCar CEO Mark Miles to the Gold Coast" to discuss the possibility, according to Elder & Keen of the GOLD COAST BULLETIN. Palaszczuk on Sunday met IndyCar driver Will Power, an Australia native, to "discuss the Gold Coast hosting" IndyCar again. She said that Power was "enthusiastic about the proposal and would also speak" to IndyCar execs about a '20 race. Palaszczuk said that it was "too soon to discuss funding, but revealed if her bid was successful the race would likely be held in February" (GOLDCOASTBULLETIN.com.au, 10/29). Surfers Paradise annually held a Champ Car event from '91-'07, but the race ended after the IRL-Champ Car merger in '08 because IndyCar and the Queensland government "failed to agree" on several issues. IndyCar demanded an extra AUS$3M to return to the country, while it also "wanted the event moved from October to March" in order to not overlap with football season (SMH.com.au, 10/30).
TRANSFER NOTICE: AUTOSPORT's David Malsher noted F1 driver Marcus Ericsson "will switch to IndyCar" in '19, driving for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports as full-time teammate to James Hinchcliffe. SPM fielded Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens as its full-time '18 line-up "until Wickens was seriously injured in a horrific crash at Pocono." Ericsson will race the No. 7 SPM Dallara-Honda "because team owners Sam Schmidt and Ric Peterson have pledged to keep" the No. 6 entry "reserved for Wickens 'when he wants to and is able to return'" (AUTOSPORT.com, 10/30).