Supercars to keep eye on IndyCar GC talks

Tom Howard

Wednesday 14th November, 2018 - 6:00am

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IndyCars on the Gold Coast in 2008

Supercars will keep a close eye on developing discussions to bring IndyCar back to the Gold Coast from 2020 onwards.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed a desire to lure the popular American open wheel series to the region by inviting IndyCar boss Mark Miles to Australia for talks.

It has since been confirmed by RACER.com that Miles and officials are heading to the Gold Coast to carry out further investigations.

IndyCar raced on the Gold Coast from 1991 to 2008 with its early years widely regarded as the halcyon days of the event when it ran on the now disused longer version of the famous street circuit.

Supercars has headlined the event since 2010 with the race one of its flagship meetings on the calendar.

This latest bid from Queensland government has led to IndyCar confirming that a feasibility study is being conducted into the Gold Coast, with the series investigating the possibility of adding two races outside of North America to its calendar by 2020.  

The Premier earmarked February as the preferred time of year for a revived Gold Coast Indy, a move which would bring it back towards its original March or April slot.

Should the Queensland Government’s IndyCar plans materialise, it is anticipated that Supercars would have to be involved as the series owns all of the infrastructure including pit buildings and barriers used to construct the Surfers Paradise street circuit.

Building a circuit is expected to be one of the major costs with the original track used by IndyCar no longer possible due to the Gold Coast Light Rail system. 

Transportation of cars and equipment to Australia and the broadcast of the event will add to the hosting costs. 

Supercars CEO Sean Seamer says his team plans to keep a watching brief on the project and will talk to IndyCar.

“We’re still waiting to hear more,” Seamer told Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously we’ll check in with the US and chat with the team up there, but we’re really focused on what our strategy is in Queensland from 2020 onwards, as in when those conversations develop we’ll take a watching brief.”

Talk of reviving IndyCar on the Gold Coast has circulated previously although Palaszczuk’s latest ploy arrived just a week after Supercars revealed it was involved in preliminary discussions to bring NASCAR to the event in the future.

Seamer also plans to pick up communications with NASCAR later this month regarding the concept of bringing the stock car category to the Gold Coast event, before heading to the States in December.

“We’re (Supercars and NASCAR) both very busy at the moment,” added Seamer.

“Those guys are finishing their season, we’re finishing our season. 

“We’re getting together, we’ve got a call in November and then I’m with them in December.”

These discussions are in some part the reason for Supercars changing the Gold Coast format to a solitary 500km race next year instead of the twin 300km heats.

It is hoped the shift in structure would create more room in the schedule on the Saturday for a new international category such as NASCAR.

A single car NASCAR demonstration was held at this year’s event which was well received by spectators. 

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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