After losing its Baltimore round, the IndyCar Series could be able to re-strengthen its Northeast presence by the 2015 season with a street race in Providence, Rhode Island.
Local radio station WPRO-AM reports that talks are ongoing between race organizers and city and state officials; a spokesman for Providence mayor Angel Taveras confirmed conversations between city officials and the series but stressed to WPRO that, at least currently, “there is no agreement in place to bring the event to Providence.”
Nonetheless, Mark Perrone, the general manager of the New England Grand Prix promotions group, is confident that Providence will soon have a place on the IndyCar calendar.
“The Northeast market is some place [IndyCar wants] to be, especially now,” Perrone told WPRO. “[Providence] will be the only presence from St. Petersburg [Fla.] to Toronto on the east coast.”
The series currently has one Northeast round with its event at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. It last raced specifically in New England back in 2011 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. That race proved to be a one-and-done affair after it failed to meet financial expectations.
A few years ago, Providence had been in the mix for a 2013 IndyCar date but while series officials had high praise for the bid, they felt Little Rhody’s capital city needed more time to get things squared away.
For his part, Perrone seems to agree with that previous decision.
“I think we were trying to rush a lot of things,” he told WPRO of Providence’s earlier efforts regarding an IndyCar event. “We were trying to put a round peg in a square hole.”
The plan for a Providence event involves an 11-turn, 2.1-mile street circuit with a finish line near the Rhode Island State House. A tentative date for the event has been set for Aug. 7-9, 2015.