Owners of the historic Milwaukee Mile oval circuit are in frantic discussions with IndyCar Series officials in the hope that they can negotiate the circuit returning to the 2012 championship calendar.
The championship has visited the venue on seven occasions since 2004, but its absence was noticeable when IndyCar officials announced the 2012 provisional calendar just before Christmas.
With only fifteen events – and just four oval rounds – confirmed so far, it’s one short of the sixteen needed to fulfil its contract with title sponsor IZOD.
Patrick Harris, communications manager for Milwaukee Mile’s owner, the Wisconsin State Fair Park, confirmed to USA Today that the circuit is in discussions with IndyCar officials about getting on the 2012 calendar.
The major stumbling block, it would seem, is the lack of an event promoter. The circuit pulled the pin on hosting major motorsport events in 2010 when previous track promoters ran into financial strife.
In spite of getting a new promoter on board to secure the 2011 event, the race – won by Dario Franchitti – drew a pathetic crowd.
Despite the lack of crowd support, the event is popular among drivers, and there remains a groundswell of support to keep the venue – which hosted its first-ever race in 1903 – on the map.
And adding Milwaukee would help take the heat off officials over the decision to include just four oval races – Indianapolis, Texas, Iowa and Fontana – on the provisional calendar.
The 2012 calendar is currently heavily geared towards street and road courses, and this does little to strengthen the series’ reputation of being one of the most versatile motor racing championships in the world.
[Original image via LAT]