Baltimore street race loses IndyCar slot from 2014
|By Mark Glendenning||Friday, September 13th 2013, 22:18 GMT|
The Baltimore street race has been dropped from the IndyCar calendar due to scheduling problems.
All three editions of the Baltimore race have been held on the USA's Labor Day weekend at the start of September.
However conflicting calendars between the city of Baltimore and IndyCar prompted the series to confirm on Friday that the event will not feature on next year's schedule.
"After a successful visit to Baltimore [two weeks ago], which included record attendance, we are disappointed that our schedules will not align to host an event in 2014," said Mark Miles, chief executive officer, Hulman & Co, the parent company of IndyCar.
"This was simply a matter of trying to find the best date that worked for all parties, since Labor Day weekend was not an option in 2014.
"We are thankful to the city of Baltimore, [event organiser] Race On and [promoter] Andretti Sports Marketing for their support and enthusiasm for the event over the years."
AUTOSPORT understands that the Labor Day weekend is blocked out in Baltimore next year due to a collegiate football game between Ohio State and Navy at M&T Bank Stadium, which is just across the road from Turn 9 on the race circuit.
Local media report that the 2015 Labor Day weekend will also be unavailable to IndyCar due to an American Legion Convention that will use the convention building that forms the race hub.
According to the Baltimore Sun, this means that the earliest possible return would be 2016 - a prospect that it quoted Baltimore city mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as saying there had been "no conversations" about.
ALTERNATIVE DATES IMPOSSIBLE
The Sun reported that organisers attempted to secure several dates between June and August in an attempt to save the event, but were derailed by major conventions and the game schedule of the Baltimore Oriols baseball team, whose Camden Yards stadium is located within the circuit's infield.
Andretti Sports Marketing's Michael Andretti remains optimistic that the race can be resurrected in the future.
It was a great experience working with the fans in Baltimore and the community and hopefully one day we will be back," he said.
Organisers claimed a weekend attendance of 152,000 for this year's race, an increase on the 131,000 who attended in 2012.