IndyCar adds Boston to schedule through 2020

A general view of the Boston skyline, taken on Jan. 9, 2015 in Boston.

Paul Marotta/Getty Images

INDIANAPOLIS – The vision of INDYCAR boss Mark Miles has always been wanted to stage a really big event on labor day weekend in a major city. He believes he found the right place as INDYCAR announced Thursday it will race along the South Boston Waterfront on labor day weekend beginning with the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season.

Miles made a surprising announcement, however, when he said it may not be the final race of the season. That would move away from his previously stated goal of concluding the Verizon IndyCar Series on labor day weekend to get it out of the way before the National Football League and college football begins.

“We haven’t confirmed that yet,” said Miles, the CEO of Hulman & Company – owners of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “It’s Labor Day. We won’t announce whether that, in fact, is the finale of the championship until we announce the full season.”

The Grand Prix of Boston will be contested on an 11-turn, 2.25-mile temporary street course that surrounds the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and is the first time INDYCAR has competed in Boston.

"This is an exciting time in Boston and as we explore new ways to grow and attract visitors here, we’re engaging in strong dialogue with organizations like the Grand Prix of Boston," said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. "This event has great potential to bring an influx of tourism and support our local businesses during what is traditionally a challenging holiday weekend for hospitality. I’m excited to begin this process and hear from our residents and business owners as we move forward."

It’s another street race for the series that has the most diverse venues in motorsports with temporary street circuits, permanent road courses, short ovals and superspeedways.

“The level of enthusiasm we have received from the Boston community has been phenomenal and we look forward to showcasing the Verizon IndyCar Series on Labor Day weekend in 2016,” Miles said. “Establishing INDYCAR racing in the Northeast is an integral part of our strategy.

“It’s important on a lot of levels. First of all, obviously it’s a great thing for the Verizon IndyCar Series to be in a big city, big market in the Northeastern part of the United States. When you think about particularly our street races, you go from Boston to St. Pete to Long Beach to Detroit to Toronto. We’ve now really kind of blanketed the country. It’s a great part of our circuit, a great style of racing. To be in Boston kind of completes the geography of the strategy in developing the series. The other thing is this layout. Can’t wait for Verizon IndyCar fans to see the place. It is very special. I’m sure it will be competitive racing. It’s in a dynamic area. The South Boston waterfront has experienced huge investment. It is right there surrounded by water. Reminds us of some other great racing venues. It’s surrounded by world-class hotels, bars, restaurant, all the amenities.

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“On so many levels this is really key to us. We’re delighted to have an anchor for the Labor Day weekend for the series and looking forward to getting there.”

Team Penske driver Will Power is one of IndyCar’s best street racers and applauded the layout of the race course.

“It looks like a very well laid-out track for passing,” Power said. “That’s what’s important for a street course. I think street course racing is really awesome. It brings the racing to the people. Just the fact that you’re racing these super fast cars with a lot of horsepower around the streets, I think people are going to love it.

“To have a race there on the East Coast I think is very important for the series. I think the city is right behind it. They’re talking about repaving it and all that. I think when you get that sort of support behind it; it’s always a successful event.

“As a driver, I love going to new street courses because I usually win when I get to the first one. I don’t want to jinx myself.”

INDYCAR President of Competition Derrick Walker indicated the layout would be unique for many reasons.

“There’s actually two unique features about this racetrack,” Walker said. “One you’ve seen before, and that is a section of the racetrack goes under the hotel complex there. So it’s the sort of mini Monaco feel to it for anybody that has been in Monaco.

“The most unique feature, which I don’t think I’ve seen before, which is a Tony Cotman design, I believe, is the pit lane is actually on both sides of the pits. There are pits either side, and there are two lanes down the middle. You can see what’s going to happen. Pit stops come in, they emerge, they’ve got two lanes, and it will blend into one as they go out. I think that’s going to add a completely different dimension to pit stops, so that is very unique to this Boston track.”

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