IndyCar racing cut its ties with the Surfers Paradise street race on Australia's Gold Coast following the 2008 season, but series CEO Randy Bernard has admitted that he would be interested in restoring the race that was a fixture on the CART and Champ Car schedules prior to the merger with the IRL. Bernard says that the IZOD IndyCar Series' new race in Qingdao, China, could provide an ideal way to pair with the Australian event, as a means of maximizing the investment in freight. The Chinese race runs in August this year, while the Surfers race currently is held in late October.
"IndyCar would love to come back to Surfers Paradise," Bernard told the Indianapolis Bulletin. "It was a great addition to the series and the drivers and teams all enjoyed being there. It makes sense we continue on after China – it is more economical from a freight point of view."
The Surfers Paradise event replaced IndyCars with V8 Supercars, and local government officials indicated they don't see any pressing need to bring the North America-based series back. Treasurer Andrew Fraser told GoldCoast.com
, "We already have a great Gold Coast company here (V8 Supercars) bringing an international event until 2013.
"Indy walked away from the city three years ago. If they were to come back again we would need to know we were getting value for money."
However, Surfers Paradise Member of Parliament John-Paul Langbroek said if the Liberal-National Party, currently in opposition, was elected, the party would be open to talking with IndyCar about a return to the city.
"We don't want to lose out to Western Australia," he said. "If it can stack up financially and was logistically possible, we would look at supporting it. We would love to see the glamor of the international open-wheeler return to the event."