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New Formula 1 owner open to idea of night race in Las Vegas

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Formula 1’s new owner, Liberty Media, has expressed an interest in staging a night race in Las Vegas as part of a drive to expand the number of races on the sport’s calendar.

Liberty confirmed in September that it had struck a deal with F1’s current majority shareholder, CVC, to take over the series in a deal that will be completed in 2017.

Liberty’s arrival has led to suggestions of the current 21-race calendar expanding in the coming years, including the possible addition of more races in the United States.

Speaking in a conference earlier this week, Liberty chief executive Greg Maffei said there was scope for the number of races in a season to grow before highlighting Las Vegas an area of interest.

“There is a general line of interest if you increase the number of races to a point. The FIA makes more money, the teams make more money, we make more money,” Maffei said, as quoted by Reuters.

“Obviously there is a limit on how much you can do. Just getting the cars around the world, but I think we can expect to grow the amount of races to a mild degree.

“I particularly like the idea of a night race in Las Vegas.”

The idea of hosting a grand prix in Las Vegas has been raised before in recent years, with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone confirming talks earlier this year before saying that he was “struggling a little bit” to strike a deal.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.