The third-largest city in Canada could host an IndyCar race as soon as 2017, according to Motorsport.com.
The word comes from Schmidt Peterson Motorsports co-owner Ric Peterson that the proposed race would be held in September 2017.
“Things are coming along pretty darn good,” Peterson told Motorsport. “It’s in the hands of Green-Savoree [the racing promotions company owned by former Indy car team principals Kevin Savoree and Kim Green] but they’re very good about keeping me updated. The original plan was for September 2017 and that still looks like a good possibility.”
The potential location of the race is Stampede Park, which hosts an annual 10-day rodeo festival that Peterson says is visited by 100,000 people every day in July. Peterson knows a little bit about Calgary, his oilfield hauling company Oculus is based in the city.
“Using the Stampede grounds means the race and preparations for the race shouldn’t interfere with people’s day-to-day lives, even though it’s right in the heart of Calgary,” Peterson said, a reference to the push back being received in Boston to its inaugural street-course race next year. “So I don’t expect opposition from the local population, nor from the media.”
One IndyCar driver that is keen to have another Canada race on the schedule is native Canadian James Hinchcliffe, who races for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. Hinchcliffe says a Calgary race is a “logical choice” for IndyCar after the demise of the Vancouver race.
“It’s the financial hub of western Canada and it had already been discussed as a potential venue,” Hinchcliffe told Motorsport. “But then with it being the home event for Ric [Peterson] and Oculus, that really got the momentum going and he’s been super-motivated to make it happen.”
IndyCar already visits Canada once a year in Toronto, which has hosted open-wheel racing every year since 1986 except in 2008. Vancouver hosted races until 2004 and Edmonton was the site for some races from 2005-2012.
“Right from when we started looking at a Calgary event, the people we’ve spoken to in prominent positions and the conversations we’ve had have all been positive,” said HInchcliffe. “Certainly I’d say there have been surprisingly few roadblocks up to this point.
“That said, no-one’s had to write a check yet! But I think we’ve communicated with the right people on the city side, and everyone on the racing side is eager to be there. So I’d say the signs are that this will happen in the not-too-distant future.”