IRL looks to race into Mexico

June 11, 2008
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Indy Racing League officials were in Mexico City early this week to look at a possible location for a race there, which could be held as early as 2009. It may have to be pushed to 2010, depending on scheduling conflicts, but IRL officials are bullish on the market south of the border.

And Mexico City isn’t the only market in Mexico the IRL is considering, said sources within the league. If things can’t be worked out to bring a race to Mexico City, IRL officials have indicated they have other options in Mexico, which has a growing motorsports following and a solid corporate sponsorship base. The IRL is hoping to get everything worked out to make an announcement by mid-July about its plans in Mexico.

There are a number of markets worldwide the IRL is considering expanding into, but team and series officials have concerns about escalating expenses that go along with a longer season. Series officials also want to assure each new market has the infrastructure and marketing muscle to help the IRL grow.

So, do you think Mexico City is a good market for the IRL? And are there other cities south of the border where you think the IRL can flourish?
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  • Given the altitude (over 7300 feet) and the air pollution, I wonder how the cars--and drivers--will be affected. If they did a road course, there are stunningly beautiful historic buildings and lots of sculptures that could be viewed along the route. And Mexico City megabillionaire Carlos Slim Helu could single-handedly make it happen.
  • Dominguez didn't make the 500 - but the Mexico City Market salsa is great!! I say go for it!
  • This is a smart and necessary move for IRL as NASCAR so dominates U.S. racing scene but they are not able to push past beyond the domestic borders. (Sorry that second tier NASCAR race in Mexico City does not count.)

    IRL needs to grow in Mexico and Canada as well as Northwest US and New England. It needs to add to the Australian and Japan leg with another race in China and/or South Korea to fortify its Asian markets.
  • What about Hanoi, Vietnam? I lived there for a year and it is a great place as well as is emerging. It is true it still is not wealthy but it would be a lot of fun!
  • Well, since the egocentric owners of IRL and CART nearly killed U.S. open-wheel racing as a whole when they split, now that the unification has finally happened, they should surely move as many races as possible out of the country. The fans that stood by them over this dark period really don't want to attend the races anyway. I'm also certain that the tracks in the U.S. that have hosted the poorly attended events, and that now have a shot at making real money, will be happy to have their races cut from the schedule so they can possibly go out of business as a result. That's the way to boost a series!!!

    Happy times.

    By the way, Anthony, AR1 put a link to The Score and this blog posting on its Rumor page.

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