One week after the IZOD IndyCar Series has concluded its second trip to the streets of Baltimore, a second race is close to being added in the Northeast for 2013.
can reveal IndyCar is looking at racing on the streets of Providence, R.I. Aug. 9-11, 2013. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard didn't have official comment when asked, and said IndyCar is in the process of putting together its schedule.
The race would take place on a 2.1-mile temporary street circuit that runs by Brown University, past the state capitol and over the canal. There's a reasonable amount of elevation and it's right in the heart of the city. The project has been in the works for the past six months, said NZR Consulting President Tony Cotman (ABOVE).
“Initially, a potential site was looked at in Boston but as we progressed it was apparent interest was extremely high just down the road in Providence,” Cotman said. “Governor Lincoln Chafee, Mayor Angel Taveras and Jim Bennett (Director of Economic Development) have been instrumental in leading a fantastic and supportive team which includes involvement from the R.I. Convention Center and the Dunkin Donuts Center.
“The promoter group will be known as the New England Grand Prix LLC,” he added. “It includes some folks who are very familiar with IndyCar and some that are new to it. It's important to us to blend and involve the local market as much as possible. It's also important we have someone experienced when it comes to IndyCar events.
With street course surface issues something of a hot topic this year – Detroit had part of its tarmac come up during the race while Baltimore's Pratt St. chicane was removed in advance of the year, then reinstated during the weekend – Cotman seems optimistic about the Providence road surface.
“Like any street circuit, there's some work to do,” he said. “There's going to be the need for removal of some medians, curbs and some street improvements. But in general, it's in reasonably good shape. It's no more (work) than any other place. Obviously the winters have a lot to do with how the roads are. It's definitely not insurmountable.”
Although the 2013 IndyCar schedule has not been released, the projected Providence date would fall a week after Mid-Ohio's round. The only new race yet confirmed for 2013 is a return to the streets of Houston, scheduled for next October. IndyCar is projecting to announce its full schedule after a Sept. 20 board of directors meeting.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed that everything comes together here shortly,” he said. “The Providence event will undoubtedly be a phenomenal event.”