The 2014 edition of the Shell/Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston could take place at night, as race promoter and IndyCar team co-owner Mike Lanigan said that his group was “investigating” the prospect.
This weekend’s doubleheader marks the first year of a five-year pact between the Houston race and the series, but it is expected to find a new date on the 2014 schedule.
Considering the 96-hour scramble to convert the parking lot of Reliant Stadium into a 1.7-mile race track following the end of the Houston Texans’ game last Sunday, one could argue that Lanigan would prefer a date before football season kicks in.
Lanigan indicated that he has indeed found a date for Houston in 2014 (a date he said he wants to stay as a doubleheader), but wouldn’t reveal it.
“I have a memory lapse right now,” Lanigan said with a grin before adding, “I don’t think I’m permitted to say anything on that.”
The event has gotten off to a rocky start after a track repair issue scrapped or delayed multiple practice sessions this morning for the various series that are racing here in Houston. A temporary chicane has been installed at the problem spot in Turn 1 for the remainder of today’s activity before grinding takes place later tonight.
Still, as Lanigan noted, his group did take on a massive project with very little time to spare.
“It’s certainly a challenge, to say it mildly,” he said. “Normally, a street course takes four to six weeks. We did it in four days. We thought we had it right and we were finished around 5:30 this morning. Unfortunately, we missed something extremely important coming out at Turn 1.
“We’ve got some work to do tonight, but we’re really pleased we got everything here and everybody seems to be happy, so it’s been a success…Quite frankly, I feel a lot better today than I did last Saturday when we first got here.”