MAVTV issued a release during the Verizon IndyCar Series’ weekend at Auto Club Speedway confirming a two-year title sponsorship extension of the race through 2016.
Owned and operated by Forrest Lucas’ Lucas Oil Products, MAVTV has served as the Fontana, Calif. race’s title sponsor (MAVTV 500) since the track returned to the schedule in 2012.
“MAVTV anchors its entertainment in motorsports, and we do a lot throughout the year to bolster support for many forms of racing around this great country,” said MAVTV president Bob Patison in the release. “MAVTV is headquartered in Corona, Calif., only a few miles from the magnificent Auto Club Speedway. We feel it’s almost a responsibility for us to support a premier track and event in our own backyard that features one of the top professional racing series in America.”
While this release was issued, INDYCAR has not issued a release of its own confirming the return to ACS.
A date for the IndyCar race weekend in 2015 has not been determined; selected races have been announced for the 2015 schedule, but Auto Club Speedway is not yet one of them.
Although Auto Club has hosted the last race of the season each of the last three years, it’s had a different date each year. It ran September 15, 2012, October 19, 2013 and just now, August 30, 2014.
Here’s a picture of the release as distributed from the track.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”