IndyCar wants to take the WEC's vacated August slot for Mexico race

IndyCar is targeting an early August race at Mexico City, replacing the now vacant World Endurance Championship slot, and believes it's "possible" for the race to happen in 2018

IndyCar wants to take the WEC's vacated August slot for Mexico race

Autosport has learned that IndyCar was in discussions to add a race at the Mexican Grand Prix venue, after previously considering an oval race at Puebla or in China.

While the race was not a provisional date on the newly released 2018 calendar, Mark Miles, CEO of IndyCar's parent firm Hulman & Company, says it could still be added.

"I think there is still a possibility of adding Mexico City for next year," he said.

"We felt like with Portland being nailed down, most of the schedule - a schedule we're happy to have as our final schedule for next year - is set and ought to be public.

"But there is ongoing work in Mexico City to get to the track there. I think it's quite close.

"We're optimistic about the possibility [of it being] added to the 2018 schedule."

It is believed that ongoing discussions include the provisions that IndyCar fields a Mexican driver, with Esteban Gutierrez keen to return after his stand-in duties for Sebastien Bourdais at Dale Coyne Racing.

September's earthquake in Mexico City and the small timescale for promotion are said to be other factors to be resolved for the race to happen.

Miles says that any Mexico race would likely be in early August, the same period that the WEC raced there this year.

"If it happens, it will be in there probably just after Mid-Ohio where we have a little longer break in the middle of our summer than we'd like," he said.

"Everything we know about the opportunity there is exciting - great track, great facility, obviously a huge market, a lot of open-wheel fans and IndyCar fans.

"We hope that can come together, but this schedule still works for us if it doesn't."

IndyCar has not set a timescale for a deal to add Mexico to the calendar this year, but Miles has said that the addition could be pushed back if required.

"We have not presented a final deadline for that," said Miles. "It would be a combination of what they would need time-wise to be successful in promoting an event in early August.

"But from our perspective, it could be added down the road."

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