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COTA chairman thinks Liberty should own some F1 circuits

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Circuit of The Americas chairman Bobby Epstein believes that Formula 1’s new owner, Liberty Media, should own some of the circuits on the series’ calendar.

Liberty completed its takeover of F1 back in January, with new CEO and chairman Chase Carey keen to ensure that races become more sustainable and are less susceptible to falling off the calendar due to financial difficulties.

The United States Grand Prix at COTA came close to collapse following a washout in 2015 and a cut in government funding, only to bounce back last year with a record crowd, aided by a performance from Taylor Swift on Saturday after qualifying.

Speaking to Reuters, COTA chairman Epstein raised the idea of Liberty owning circuits as a way for F1 to take an active role in making races more profitable.

“I do think it makes a lot of sense for them to own some circuits. It would have to be part of any long-term strategy for them,” Epstein said.

“I see a lot of logic and business reasons for them to own some circuits. I think all of the circuits struggle under the current environment.

“If they change it and help the circuits survive, are they better off owning the circuits than making concessions?

“Are they actually giving up profitability by not owning the circuits? If [the circuits] are going to make money from an F1 race, then F1 might as well own that profit.”

Tickets for the 2017 United States GP at COTA in Austin, Texas went on sale earlier this week, with this year’s race set to feature a performance from Justin Timberlake at the track’s amphitheater.

IndyCar race weekend doubleheader schedule at IMS road course

IndyCar weekend schedule Indianapolis
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The NTT IndyCar Series will return to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the third time this season but with a weekend schedule that will put the action in front of fans for the first time in 2020.

The track’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course will play host to IndyCar and sports cars series over four days. The action will begin Thursday with practice and concluding with an eight-hour race Sunday featuring the Intercontinental GT Challenge and GT World Challenge America.

The NTT IndyCar Series will hold a Friday-Saturday race doubleheader called the Harvest GP presented by GMR.

ENTRY LISTS: Who’s racing IndyCar at IMS this weekend

The name is a nod to the Harvest Classic, which was held Sept. 9, 1916 to help the track stay solvent during World War I. The event had three races of 20, 50 and 100 miles (all won by Johnny Aitken) that was the only racing held outside May at IMS from 1911-93.

A limited crowd of 10,000 will be allowed each day this weekend, and those fans will be the first to experience new video boards, concession stands, restrooms and 5G wireless connectivity.

Here’s the IndyCar weekend schedule for Indianapolis Motor Speedway Harvest GP:

(All times are Eastern)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Thursday, Oct. 1

Noon — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America test session
2:25 p.m. — IndyCar practice (NBC Sports Gold)
6:20 p.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 1 (NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Friday, Oct. 2

10:20 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
1:40 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America practice
3:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 (USA Network, NBC Sports Gold)

IndyCar weekend schedule: Saturday, Oct. 3

10:20 a.m. — IndyCar qualifying for Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC Sports Gold)
12:10 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America qualifying
2:30 p.m. — IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 2 (NBC, NBC Sports Gold)
5:30 p.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America pole shootout

IndyCar weekend schedule: Sunday, Oct. 4

10 a.m. — Indianapolis 8 Hour/GT World Challenge America race