Getty Images

IndyCar won’t add Mexico City race for 2018 season

Leave a comment

On Thursday, INDYCAR has confirmed it won’t be adding an extra round of the championship in Mexico City for its 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

A Mexico round was left off the initial 2018 calendar released, but Hulman & Co. CEO Mark Miles said on a teleconference later that day that Mexico was still possible and projected for August.

Had it been added, it seemed to get set for the August 3-5, 2018 weekend, which would have been a week after the Honda Indy 200 from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

But alas, it won’t happen. First reported by the Sports Business Journal and confirmed via IndyCar’s website, the series said it’ll continue to work on a race down the road.

“INDYCAR is invested in the process of putting together the right deal with a partner we are certain can deliver this race,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We are not at the point where we can finalize a contract for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season and felt that we couldn’t delay the decision any longer, in fairness to our teams, manufacturers and other stakeholders who need time to properly prepare for an event of such magnitude.

“INDYCAR appreciates the rich racing history in Mexico and we would like to be part of that once again. We will keep working with the intent of making an INDYCAR event in Mexico City a reality in the future.”

The last North American open-wheel series race in Mexico was to cap off the 2007 Champ Car World Series season, when Sebastien Bourdais won over Will Power and Oriol Servia.

MEXICO CITY, DF – NOVEMBER 11: Sebastien Bourdais driver of the #1 McDonald’s Newman Haas Lanigan Racing Panoz DP0 celebrates with second placed Will Power and third placed Oriol Servia after winning the ChampCar World Series Grand Premio Tecate on November 11, 2007 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Darrell Ingham/Getty Images)

MRTI: Keith Donegan earns Mazda Shootout Scholarship

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Leave a comment

Dublin, Ireland’s Keith Donegan claimed a $200K scholarship from Mazda after emerging victorious at the second annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout. The 20-year-old Donegan earned an at-large nomination for the scholarship based on his performance at this year’s Formula Ford Festival, in which he finished second in the final, and emerged from a pack of 17 drivers from across the globe to claim the scholarship.

“It really hasn’t hit me yet,” said an emotional Donegan, who earlier in his career actually spent two years away from racing as he focused on academics. “The weekend was really good and I enjoyed it. I have to say a huge thanks to Mazda and Cooper Tires and everyone at the Mazda Road to Indy. I enjoyed every moment. Throughout the weekend we were consistent and I kept the small things in check. I didn’t make any stupid mistakes and kept my head cool and that really paid off in the end.”

The two-day shootout was held at the Bondurant Racing School in Arizona and saw the nominated drivers tackle the school’s 1.6-mile circuit in Formula Mazda race cars before facing on and off-track assessments. Donegan was selected by a panel of judges that included former driver and current Verizon IndyCar Series TV analyst Scott Goodyear, Mazda drivers Tom Long, Andrew Carbonell, and Jonathan Bomarito, as well as Victor Franzoni – the current champion of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and Oliver Askew, the current champion of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.

Donegan was humbled to be in the presence of drivers who have won scholarships and championships previously, and added that he is grateful to have the opportunity to continue his racing career.

“You see all these champions here today that will go on to great things in the future and I’m sure the names you see here today aren’t going to disappear,” Donegan added. “They will be back up there and I’m sure I will be racing them again some day. It is an unbelievable opportunity to be given and for Mazda to provide that for any young driver. It just gives that bit of motivation that you need because the [U.S.] is where you need to go to become a professional these days. It is such a boost to my career.”

Donegan is now slated to join the 2018 USF2000 championship, with further announcements regarding the team with whom he’ll be racing to come in the future.

Follow @KyleMLavigne