Brazil is back on the IndyCar Series calendar after a one-year absence. Championship organisers have confirmed that the open-wheel series will visit the Autódromo Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in the country’s capital, Brasília.
The circuit will be the third difference venue that the IndyCar Series has visited in South America, after separate stints at Rio de Janeiro (1996-2000) and the streets of São Paulo (2010-2013, pictured above).
The announcement of a March 8 calendar slot was made by Mark Miles, chief executive of IndyCar parent company Hulman & Company and Maruska Souza Holanda, the president of Terracap, the government-run company that owns the circuit.
“We’re eager to continue IndyCar’s rich history of racing in Brazil with today’s announcement of a Verizon IndyCar Series event in Brasília next season,” Miles is quoted as saying.
“This event is an instrumental step in the growth of IndyCar as we continue to execute our strategy of adding race markets and events that drive us forward.”
Built in 1974 and originally named the Autódromo de Brasília, the 5.476-kilometre anticlockwise circuit played host to a non-championship Formula 1 race in 1974, one week after the official Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
The venue was leased to the Nelson Piquet-owned NZ Empreendimentos firm, but the Federal District took back control of the circuit after it fell into disrepair – despite this, the track continues to have the Piquet moniker in its name.
The circuit was meant to have staged a round of the MotoGP championship this year, but was subsequently dropped from the calendar.
The announcement comes after further news that the IndyCar Series’ sole visit to Canada will move from the Toronto street circuit to the Mosport road course, in addition to the championship making its inaugural visit to the NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans.
Officials are expected to finalise and announce the full 2015 calendar in the coming weeks.
Privisional 2015 IndyCar Series Calendar:
|08 March||Brasilia Indy 300||Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet|
|29 March||Grand Prix of St Petersburg||St Petersburg street circuit, Florida|
|12 April||Grand Prix of Louisiana||NOLA Motorsports Park, Louisiana|
|19 April||Grand Prix of Long Beach||Streets of Long Beach, California|
|26 April||Grand Prix of Alabama||Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama|
|09 May||Grand Prix of Indianapolis||Indianapolis Motor Speedway RC, Indiana|
|24 May||Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana|
|30-31 May||Indy Dual in Detroit||Belle Isle, Michigan|
|06 June||Firestone 600||Texas Motor Speedway, Texas|
|TBA||Grand Prix of Mosport||Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Ontario|
|02 August||Honda Indy 200||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Ohio|
|23 August||Grand Prix of Sonoma||Sonoma Raceway, California|
Images via Judao and Panoramio