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Old 3 Apr 2016, 20:52 (Ref:3630006)   #1
NaBUru38
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2017 IndyCar Series schedule

It's April, so it's time to talk about next year's IndyCar schedule.

Team owners have asked not to race outside North America. Canada deserves a second race. It could be Vancouver, Calgary or Montreal. Mexico has lost of international races at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, but apparently there's plenty of fans.

I think that Brazil would be a great place. However, the FIFA World Cup and Olympics have left huge deficits, plus the economy is in crisis and the political situation is critical. IndyCar could wait a couple of years to return.

Baltimore and Houston are gone, Boston is in. I don't see any new American cities wishing to bid.

The most likely American road courses are Austin and Watkins Glen. Austin has been bleeding money, so it's a mystery. Watkins Glen was renovated last year, so I guess that they would bid for another major race. IndyCar + Nascar Trucks could be an interesting card.

And there's the oval situation. We can never know if Kentucky, Richmond or New Hampshire are willing to have IndyCar back. Fontana was pretty much dumped by IndyCar. Milwaukee should return, but numbers seem not to add.

Now, thinking big: Bernie Ecclestone is talking about Las Vegas. It's a terrible time zone for Europeans. Could IndyCar do a Saturday night street race in late September / early October?

And what if IndyCar goes to Martinsville?
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Old 4 Apr 2016, 08:15 (Ref:3630115)   #2
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It's a nice idea for a thread.

My guesses are that there are going to be 2 additions to the IndyCar calendar for 2017: Milwaukee with a new promoter and Fontana with a date in October as the new season finale.

Which of the current venues might be leaving is anyone's guess. There are certainly 2 events which will have to do well to continue. I don't want to name them now because I wish them lots of success for this year.

The possible additions of Milwaukee and Fontana might seem unspectacular choices to some observers, as much wilder and off-kilter suggestions are being discussed on the boards of the internet. But both are proven venues which dropped off for all the wrong reasons: a promoter closing up shop ended one whilst a scheduling clash ended the other - just for the time being.

If IndyCar could keep all of this year's events on the schedule for next year and add these two, 2017 would have a pretty awesome looking schedule, don't you think?

Any more additions for 2017 would seem like mere bonuses to this observer.

Happy scheduling!
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Old 4 Apr 2016, 12:36 (Ref:3630214)   #3
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I'd prefer no new tracks through parking lots or bumpy dated streets and I am with the owners; let's stay in North America.

Portland would be great.

I'm still not a fan of the GP of Indy. I'd like to see that go along with Texas. And not a fan of the double rounds on Belle Isle, but like the circuit.

I wish they could switch Barber to earlier in April. Always conflicts with an event at my local track...

Keep Road America!!! Everything else can work itself out.

What are the chances of increasing the number of events? I don't think adding 2 would be crazy of an idea.
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Old 4 Apr 2016, 22:26 (Ref:3630379)   #4
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IndyCar shouldn't run ovals shorter than Richmond (0.75-mile).

Texas isn't my favorite, but I think having an intermediate-length oval is good. Unfortunately, the lower-banked options in that department are limited. About the only ones left are Nashville and Kentucky.

Gateway is more of a mile-plus oval, but it wants in, and wouldn't be a bad option at all.

Hopefully, Milwaukee and Fontana can return. The trouble with Fontana is, while it would be great for a 500-mile closer, trying to run it into darkness poses problems with the Eastern Time Zone, unless you run it after we revert to Standard Time in early November.

I'm not big on the Indy GP either. If they want to keep it, run the full road course with oval Turn 1 incorporated (2.534 miles), and do the inside curbing at Turns 1 and 8 like F1 had it. That way, two-abreast is much more possible, and spear jobs are much less likely.

I'd prefer opening that race slot to another venue, though. The same goes for the second Detroit race. Thankfully, they're back to running the long course at Belle Isle.

I'm not going to be an express proponent for it, but the Champ Car street circuit in Las Vegas was one of the best put together for American open-wheel racing. I hope Boston does well and puts on a good race this year.

Absolutely, let's get Watkins Glen back in IndyCar.

As for Canada, apart from another temporary circuit, I'd love to see them back at Mont Tremblant. I suppose I'd be more excited if it were a sportscar series looking to take up the second available date at Montreal, but the Indy Cars are quite quick in the corners, and that back straight ought to be good for slipstreaming.

If not Mexico City, maybe they can return to Monterrey. If it can come back, I would like to see some tweaks made to the section following the Turn 5 hairpin and continuing through that chicane, which should be removed outright. It might also help to slightly ease the apexes at Turns 1 and 10.

That's what I've got so far.
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Old 4 Apr 2016, 23:57 (Ref:3630387)   #5
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Never going to happen but I'm going to ask for this every year.

Cleveland please.
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Old 5 Apr 2016, 00:30 (Ref:3630392)   #6
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IndyCar shouldn't run ovals shorter than Richmond (0.75-mile).
Why not? IndyCar shoudl try at least once.

Nascar Cup does 100 mph / 160 km/h average at Martinsville, which is a bit slower than Road America.

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I'm not going to be an express proponent for it, but the Champ Car street circuit in Las Vegas was one of the best put together for American open-wheel racing.
Randy Bernard knew that Las Vegas was a great place to put a new show. A sunset street race at an actual city (unlike Abu Dhabi) would be awesome.
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Old 5 Apr 2016, 00:53 (Ref:3630399)   #7
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Never going to happen but I'm going to ask for this every year.

Cleveland please.
Plus 1000. And I guess I've just about given up....
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Old 5 Apr 2016, 03:43 (Ref:3630418)   #8
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If not Mexico City, maybe they can return to Monterrey. If it can come back, I would like to see some tweaks made to the section following the Turn 5 hairpin and continuing through that chicane, which should be removed outright. It might also help to slightly ease the apexes at Turns 1 and 10.

That's what I've got so far.
The Monterrey track is gone forever; even water canals occupy part of the former track.
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Old 5 Apr 2016, 06:10 (Ref:3630439)   #9
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Daallo, I haven't been able to find anything concrete on what exactly has happened at Fundidora Park, nor anything solid showing that the track is gone. If it is gone, I don't especially care for the new Mexico City layout, and no other track down there is up to snuff. So, I can't say that I'd be that keen on any of the existing options in Mexico in that case.

NBU38, really? Qualifying averages at Road America should be north of 140-mph.

Martinsville is flat with one viable lane in the turns. The corners are so slow that I'm not sure the downforce can make much difference in mid-corner speed. The Indy Cars are draggy and have less power than the Cup cars. So even if they go a few seconds quicker, I don't see there being much difference between minimum and maximum speeds over NASCAR. The Indy Cars weigh less with better brakes, so the braking zones will be shorter. And the inside lane will be THE preferred lane in the corners.

Beyond that, these cars can't knock each other about, and at Martinsville, they only have 18 seconds, or less, and just 0.526 of a mile to work with to spread out. At Road America, the Indy Cars have 4.048 miles and 100-105 seconds over which to distribute themselves.

Martinsville is a one-line track where they can't get a great punch out of the corner relative to one another, and where two strong compressions a lap will slam the physical gap between cars back down. Indy Cars can't play dodge 'ems like NASCAR, and there isn't much time or space to spread out anyway, which creates a traffic nightmare. It's too many of this type of car in too small a time/space, with too strong a rubber-band effect, encouraging too many crashes.

Bristol would be even worse, because they WOULD go insanely fast with their downforce, and with so little time/space, one small wiggle could cause a wreck that wipes out half the field. It would be a magnification of the problems seen at Dover.

As for Texas on the schedule, with Austin potentially up in the air, it's tough. TMS says they're gone if IndyCar goes to Austin, and I'm not terribly looking forward to returning to Reliant Park in Houston. Then again, that state has too many people and covers too much territory to be ignored.

Even if they did go to Austin, these cars don't get enough of a punch out of the corners to allow much to happen in a number of sections on the track. It would be tough to make much happen from the exit of Turn 1 to the entry of Turn 3. The same goes for between Turns 7 and 9. It's too easy to block a run between Turns 9 and 11, because of how abrupt the Turn 10 kink is. And forget about there being enough speed differential in the "stadium section" to create much dicing.

Put it this way, the F1 cars can accelerate and brake better, but also, in the slipstream with DRS, they can quite possibly get 205-mph into Turn 12 at Austin, while these Indy Cars just MIGHT be able to reach 180-mph.

Remember, modern F1 tracks are designed exclusively to suit F1 cars, and maybe somebody gets a few other suggestions thrown in. However, it's only by sheer luck that other forms of racing put on good races at these tracks, and if not, tough.
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Old 5 Apr 2016, 20:27 (Ref:3630595)   #10
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As for the Pacific Northwest, as Pacific Raceways probably isn't in for a major refurbishment, Portland is it. That's fine.

I have my usual concerns with the chicane on the front side. Also, the changes at Turn 7 could be problematic, because they intentionally made the entry wider than the exit. It's just poor design to add things that encourage dive bombs and spear jobs. The other tricky part with the re-work at Turn 7 is that it lengthens the run into Turn 8, making that corner faster and "tighter". Even before the changes, Turn 8 was the scene of some traffic tie-ups, especially in wet conditions.

I think that covers most of the bases. As for Brazil, I don't see Bernie letting IndyCar in at Interlagos, and I don't see IndyCar particularly wanting the lap time comparisons, either. If they can go back to Sao Paulo or Brasilia pans out, alright; otherwise, look at Curitiba or Goiania.

Last edited by Purist; 5 Apr 2016 at 20:42.
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Old 5 Apr 2016, 20:32 (Ref:3630598)   #11
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Mont Tremblant.

Hell, bring anything (televised) to Mont Tremblant. It deserves to survive as non club track.
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Old 6 Apr 2016, 06:12 (Ref:3630645)   #12
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Having a race or two in the Nortwest would also be a good direction weather-wise. The problem with the Southern/Mid-Atlantic USA and part of the Northeast is that those states lie on a humid subtropical climate zone. That makes the area prone to thunderstorms (Petit Le Mans 2015, Grand Prix of NOLA 2015, Sebring 2016...)

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Old 6 Apr 2016, 11:01 (Ref:3630693)   #13
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Having a race or two in the Nortwest would also be a good direction weather-wise. The problem with the Southern/Mid-Atlantic USA and part of the Northeast is that those states lie on a humid subtropical climate zone. That makes the area prone to thunderstorms (Petit Le Mans 2015, Grand Prix of NOLA 2015, Sebring 2016...)
This is true. Couple things, however; its rained at every PLM, and absolutely flooded at a couple, but just only during the race in 2015 and 2009. Percentage wise, you'll generally have beautiful weather, but as the saying goes: "when it rains, it pours". And it just happens that the majority of the population lives in this area.

Portland and Canada only 2 options for NW and I don't think they'll take 1. Right now, it looks like a good spilt based on regions but I am all for something in the NW.
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Old 6 Apr 2016, 13:23 (Ref:3630717)   #14
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On the other hand, the Pacific Northwest is also notoriously rainy... not quite like those Road Atlanta deluges of recent memory, though.

Chiana mentioned Mont Tremblant - I would love to see that (heck, I'd love to see *any* major racing series there). I suspect though that the local municipal noise regulations/complainers, lack of surrounding infrastructure, and required safety upgrades might make it a non-starter. I've also heard that spectator areas are very limited (maybe someone who knows can weigh in on this?).

It is a spectacular track and setting, however, and might make for some very interesting racing.

It seems likely that the Quebec fans would come in droves.
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Old 6 Apr 2016, 17:48 (Ref:3630758)   #15
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On the other hand, the Pacific Northwest is also notoriously rainy... not quite like those Road Atlanta deluges of recent memory, though.

Chiana mentioned Mont Tremblant - I would love to see that (heck, I'd love to see *any* major racing series there). I suspect though that the local municipal noise regulations/complainers, lack of surrounding infrastructure, and required safety upgrades might make it a non-starter. I've also heard that spectator areas are very limited (maybe someone who knows can weigh in on this?).

It is a spectacular track and setting, however, and might make for some very interesting racing.

It seems likely that the Quebec fans would come in droves.
I have a Portland resident cousin that I visited recently and he likened his "raincoat" to a long sleeve t shirt . It's apparently likes drizzle a lot.

I recall the Mont Tremblant CART race being goos back in 2007. What's the deal with Three Rivers? (I'm not about to look up or attempt the French spelling).
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