Although it wasn’t listed on the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar released earlier today, Mexico still could get added to the schedule as an 18th race, likely in August.
Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles addressed the lingering topic of Mexico’s presence but didn’t want to confirm the race in advance before all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, as the area rebuilds following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico City earlier this year.
“Yes, I think there is still a possibility of adding Mexico City for next year,” Miles said. “We felt like with Portland being nailed down, most of the schedule, a schedule we’re happy to have as our final schedule for next year is set, ought to be public.
“But there is ongoing work in Mexico City to get to the track there. I think it’s quite close. We’re optimistic about the possibility, even yet to be added for the 2018 schedule.”
If the race happens, Miles identified an early August date. Looking at the schedule, that likely would fall on Sunday, August 5, the weekend after a race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. If the race was a week later, on August 12, it would position the series for a four-week in a row stretch to tack on Mexico before racing at Pocono for 500 miles, Gateway on a short turnaround, and then out to the Pacific Northwest in Portland.
“If it happens, it will be in there probably just after Mid-Ohio where we have a little longer break in the middle of our summer than we’d like,” he said.
“Everything we know about the opportunity there is exciting. Great track, great facility. Obviously huge market. A lot of open-wheel fans and IndyCar fans. We hope that can come together, but the schedule works for us if it doesn’t.”
Getting Portland done for this portion of the schedule release proved the first thing Miles wanted to get accomplished in the wake of Watkins Glen falling off. Miles did not impose a deadline on getting a Mexico race – if it happens – sorted.
“We have not presented a final deadline for that. It would be a combination of what they would need time-wise to be successful in promoting an event in early August. But from our perspective, it could be added down the road,” he said.