Despite dropping the popular Japanese round from the 2012 calendar – ostensibly under the auspices of wanting to keep the series on North American soil to suit its TV audience – IndyCar Series organisers look set to confirm a Chinese round on next year’s schedule.
A Chinese round has been rumoured to be in the works for some time, and IndyCar’s commercial president Terry Angstadt took the opportunity during last weekend’s race Sonoma – the same event where Ho-Pin Tung became China’s first driver in the championship – to hint that a deal to race in the port city of Qingdao is close to being announced.
“The agreement has been negotiated, but we never announce anything as complete until it is officially complete, signed, deposit secured,” he said.
“And we’re very hopeful that will happen by next Friday. That’s our schedule. I’d put it at a 90/10.
“It’s a big process – we’re dealing with a pretty big institution over there. But we’re very hopeful, we think it’s the right market, we’ve had a lot of excitement from our team owners when we asked where we should go, so we’re hopeful.”
So, Mr Angstadt, could we please have the series return to Japan? And while we’re at it, how about Surfers Paradise as well?
[Original image via IZOD IndyCar Series]