The IndyCar Series and Circuit of The Americas almost reached an agreement for the Austin, Texas-based road course to host a championship round in 2013, and RACER has learned talks have recently resumed between both sides with an eye toward securing a date for 2014.
“We've talked to them for several years – since the Circuit of The Americas concept was announced – and we're looking at race dates and talking with them about options to host a race,” said COTA executive VP Bruce Knox. “But we're just talking at this point. IndyCar is doing well and there's interest on both sides. We've been getting to know the new management team there, but we don't have anything to announce right now.”
The $400 million facility, which hosts international rounds for Formula 1, MotoGP, the World Endurance Championship and the V8 Supercars, and also features domestic products such as the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am, kicked off its inaugural calendar the IndyCar Series as the only high-profile road racing entity missing from its impressive roster of motor racing events.
Former IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard is known to have made multiple trips to COTA, and it's believed discussions had advanced to the point of selecting a date on the calendar to host the open-wheel series.
The series apparently stepped away from the table for reasons that are unclear, leaving Hulman & Company CEO Mark Miles, IndyCar president of competition Derrick Walker and possibly others to re-establish links with Knox and his COTA management team to discuss the possibility of bringing IndyCar racing to Austin.
The IZOD IndyCar Series currently holds two events in the state, with the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway oval in Fort Worth and the Houston street race around the 1.7-mile Reliant Park complex on the 2013 schedule.
It's unknown if IndyCar would hold three events in Texas, just as it does in California with Long Beach, Sonoma and Fontana.