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IndyCar to race in China
10th November 2011, 22:58 at 10:58 pm #130465
IndyCar will race in China next season in the coastal town of Qingdao:
“The initial race will be held on a 3.87-mile street circuit, with long-term plans to build a permanent road course.”
I’m sure a full-time ride for Ho-Pin Tung is right around the corner.11th November 2011, 0:02 at 12:02 am #184374
Been waiting for this news, will be interesting to see. I’m a little surprised given that it’s going to be the only race out there, with Surfer’s Paradise going a little while ago and Motegi not returning next year, but the money must make it worthwhile.11th November 2011, 0:53 at 12:53 am #184375
It will be interesting to see how this plays out – China doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to street circuits. There was that infamous A1GP course where the hairpin was too tight for the cars to negotiate (and when it was reconfigured, the drivers practically had to commit to the pit entry in order to make the corner), and Stupid Football Thing ran at a circuit around the Olympic Rowing Basin last year that failed an FIA Grade-2 inspection and so the race had to be a non-championship “national” event.11th November 2011, 2:50 at 2:50 am #184376
Huh. They sure are gearing more and more towards the street circuits lately. Sao Paulo and Baltimore are both newer ones and with Detroit returning (HOORAY!) and now this race in China, that’s 4 new street circuits on a schedule with 4 other street circuits already on it. Actually… I think now a majority of the non-ovals will be street! I wonder if it’s a money thing or why the sudden trend.11th November 2011, 3:44 at 3:44 am #184377
@joey-poey – It’s cheaper and easier to set up a street circuit than to establish a permanent racing facility. The Chinese are going in for both; the race in Qingdao will take place on the streets of the city to begin with, before moving to a permanent racing venue in a few years. It’s a smart move, because it takes advantage of the motorsports boom in China at the moment – they’ve got plenty of circuits (Shanghai, Chengdu, Zuhai, Ordos, Guangdong, Goldenport and now Qingdao), and they’re attracting all manner of international motorsports categories, including Formula 1, World Touring Cars and Indycar. There is also talk that V8 Supercars could set up a race in Hong Kong for 2013.11th November 2011, 3:50 at 3:50 am #184378
Does anyone know what the layout looks like? I wonder if it will be crap like all their other street tracks…..11th November 2011, 4:09 at 4:09 am #184379
@polishboy808 – there hasn’t been any word on the layout, only that the circuit will be 3.87 miles in length (which is unusually long for Indycar). They evidently have a circuit in mind, but they haven’t released details of it yet. I expect that will come in the next few days.11th November 2011, 4:56 at 4:56 am #184380
@polishboy808 Implying Toronto, Long Beach and Detroit are crap?? Hell, I even like St. Petersburgh. It’s far more unique in look and layout than Singapore…11th November 2011, 8:35 at 8:35 am #184381
Can’t help but be pessimistic on this one. We’ve seen other series turn up at random street tracks in China that were terrible and didn’t last – DTM in Shanghai, A1 Grand Prix in Beijing.
At any rate I think the series already has its fill of street circuits. I wasn’t blown away by Baltimore, and with Detroit returning next year I think the calendar’s going to be a bit heavy on street tracks.
As @jholland says it pretty much guarantees Ho-Pin Tung will get a seat in the series. Hopefully he won’t squeeze a more talented driver out of a place.11th November 2011, 10:45 at 10:45 am #184382
@keithcollantine – the Chinese want a race at a permanent venue in Qingdao, and that’s only in the planning stages. They will know that if they want to that venue to get built, they’re going to need to get this one right. Repeats of the Yizhuang and Shunyi Rowing Baisn circuits aren’t going to do them any favours. Looking at satellite photos of Qingdao on Google Maps, some of the arterial roads are up to eight lanes wide.
I agree that Baltimore left a lot to be desired. It was all hairpins and ninety-degree bends with narrow, single-file chicanes separating them.11th November 2011, 10:54 at 10:54 am #184383
@keithcollantine Bare in mind Baltimore looks very perilous for next season, so that may be one street circuit down. But yes, too many of them and for the simple fact that they’re cheaper events and that what looks like a tiny crowd at an oval looks like a sell out on a street circuit.
Sadly this is starting to look like dying-days Champ Car: going to an increasing number of street circuits and trying to tap overseas markets whilst the audience at home loses all interest.12th November 2011, 2:00 at 2:00 am #184384
There were also plans for another street race here in Brazil. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough money to make the race happen, but it looks like IndyCar is still interested in it so it may happen in 2013. Here’s the purposed layout, if anyone cares:12th November 2011, 2:25 at 2:25 am #18438512th November 2011, 9:47 at 9:47 am #184386
Looks alright, everything a street circuit should be: most simple, with a a fiddly bit to test the drivers out. More of a “speed version” of Baltimore, which I quite liked (especially for the left-right-left before the pit straight). Hopefully it won’t need a chicane to stop them flying over tram lines!
But I think the current one works fine as it is and certainly no need for two.12th November 2011, 9:57 at 9:57 am #184387
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