IndyCar begins talks over Surfers Paradise return, aiming for 2020

IndyCar chiefs are beginning formal talks about bringing Surfers Paradise back onto the calendar, possibly as soon as 2020

IndyCar begins talks over Surfers Paradise return, aiming for 2020

Discussions have been triggered by a meeting between 2014 IndyCar champion and '18 Indianapolis 500 winner Will Power and Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

This week Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar owner Hulman & Co, and IndyCar's vice-president of promoter relations Steve Starks will meet with the Queensland government and television broadcasters.

"We have tried to make some inroads and not gained a lot of traction over the past couple of years, but Will Power has just been down there for a holiday, family visit and also some media events," Miles told Autosport.

"He met some government officials and he was invited to meet the premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, and during that meeting she asked Will, 'What do we need to do to get IndyCar back here?' He said, 'Meet with Mark Miles.'

"So I received an email within 24 hours inviting me down here, and I accepted right away."

A previous stumbling block to getting Surfers back on the IndyCar calendar had been Miles' desire for international races to take place in February before the US season begins.

Any Surfers IndyCar round would likely share a bill with Supercars' Gold Coast 600, which is held in October.

"We've said an IndyCar race would need to be in February, and they responded with a 'Come on down, let's talk.' That will be one of the many items we'll need to explore," said Miles.

The original CART Indycar race in Surfers was held in an early-season slot from 1991-97 before the event moved to the October position it occupied until it lost its place following the 2008 Champ Car/IndyCar merger.

The track has changed considerably since then, reduced from its original 20-turn 2.77-mile configuration to a 15-turn 1.85-mile version.

That was also seen as a potential hurdle for IndyCar, but Miles said he has been reassured by Power reporting that it was comparable to current venue St Petersburg and IndyCar track expert Tony Cotman backing that view.

Miles confirmed that the swiftly-organised nature of the trip meant a 2020 deal could be on the cards.

"I feel like we clearly have the keen attention of the premier of Queensland, and I know that others in her government have been involved and they fondly remember IndyCar as a powerful event," he said.

"Queensland is also being quite aggressively marketed as a holiday destination.

"I guess my feeling is that if we can't figure this out now, it won't happen any time soon.

"So in my mind, the discussion is about 2020, and it's not just a fact-finding mission.

"It's to really dig in and see if an agreement can be reached, and I hope we have an opportunity to get that done - not on this trip, but reasonably quickly."

shares
comments
Future of IndyCar's Road to Indy scheme after Mazda's exit revealed

Previous article

Future of IndyCar's Road to Indy scheme after Mazda's exit revealed

Next article

Jordan King gets 2019 Indy 500 seat with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing

Jordan King gets 2019 Indy 500 seat with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020