IndyCar won't replace canceled Brazil race; exploring other options
IndyCar will not schedule another race to replace the canceled season opener that was expected to take place in Brazil in early March.
IndyCar made the announcement Monday, four days after Brazilian officials canceled the event saying it would be too costly for the local government.
"IndyCar has explored several possibilities in an attempt to find a replacement event," the series said in a statement. "Due to the lack of time for suitable planning and the limited number of options, the series has concluded it is not feasible to organize a replacement race on that weekend. IndyCar will determine other opportunities for its teams and drivers at that time following a review of the current testing schedule."
Brazilian promoters had been looking for options to replace the Brasilia race, but acknowledged "it would be very complicated" to find another track capable of hosting the event on March 8, the original date set for the season opener.
Race promoter Band TV said through its press office that it will "definitely try to find other venues" to try to keep Brazil on the series' calendar, but it did not elaborate. Local media said organizers were looking into the possibility of racing in the neighboring city of Goiania, which recently renovated its track.
"IndyCar is exploring several options, but it would be premature to discuss specifics with respect to another race in Brazil at this time," the series had said earlier Monday. "We know there is a tremendous amount of support for IndyCar racing in Brazil, which is a big part of our disappointment with last week's news."
If it doesn't return to Brazil, the series could potentially add another race to one of the events already on the calendar, making it a doubleheader. Keeping the Brazil date was important in part because of contracts already established with commercial partners and broadcasters.
After canceling the race last week -- citing warnings from public prosecutors who pointed to waste of public funds -- the local government in Brasilia acknowledged there was a $27 million fine for a breach of contract, but said it was valid only for the contract between IndyCar and Band TV.
The deal was signed by the previous government in Brasilia, which is in the midst of a serious financial crisis.
The race would mark IndyCar's return to Brazil after a one-year absence. The series raced on a street circuit in Sao Paulo from 2010-2013, but there was no financial agreement to come back in 2014.