The news of Austin's Formula 1 circuit joining the IndyCar calendar for 2019 was rightly met with excitement this week as another step in the series reaffirming itself as a destination championship for more than just the Americas.
That announcement came just after the successful return of the Portland race, which attracted a huge turnout at the historic and challenging track, in a good case of IndyCar benefiting from revisiting its roots. Next year's return to Laguna Seca, synonymous with that Alex Zanardi overtake, falls into the same good-news category.
Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar's parent company Hulman & Co, was probably quite proud of himself as he joined a press conference to discuss the calendar. But of course it took no time at all to switch to another subject. Bobby Epstein, the man running the show at the Circuit of the Americas, turned to Miles and joked: "Is Fernando [Alonso] going to be in the series?"