The IndyCar Series is set to lose its Edmonton date after a disagreement over funding for changes to the track.
The Canadian airport circuit has been a popular venue on the IndyCar Series calendar since Champ Car first visited in 2005, and its future had seemed secure when the Octane Management organization signed up to promote it from last year.
But local newspaper the Edmonton Journal reports that Octane was asked to reconfigure the track to allow the airport to keep one of its runways open year-'round. When the city of Edmonton declined to contribute to the costs of the revised circuit layout, the deal collapsed.
IndyCar's commercial boss Terry Angstadt confirmed that the race, which was provisionally scheduled for July 24 next year, had been lost and that the championship had not been involved in the discussions over the layout changes.
"It is tremendously disappointing, particularly after the fanfare of welcoming Octane to the fold and having the press conference with the mayor," Angstadt told the Edmonton Journal.
"Just in terms of the way it has happened, it doesn't make you feel terribly welcome. We always say that we need places that want us to be there. We thought we had that in Edmonton. To have this come down and not receive a call is a little shocking.
"I was told our promoters, who I have tremendous respect for, had the new track laid out and estimated the improvements required. I think it was maybe in the $2 million to $3 million range and for the size and scope of an event like this one, nobody expected any push back. But our promoter got a call and was told it was voted out."
Angstadt added that IndyCar would now work with Octane president Francois Dumontier to find a new Canadian venue, though this would be for 2012 rather than next season.
"There are a number of locations that might be good," said Angstadt. "We don't want to fill a date with a marginal event. Francois is a pro. I have a lot of confidence in him. There are some venues that have been talked about. We love Vancouver as a possibility. Calgary has certainly been talked about."