Series to stage street race in coastal city of Qingdao
For several years, it was the most mythical of all potential races in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Next season, it will be reality.
INDYCAR is going to China.
We repeat: INDYCAR is going to China.
The series announced today that the IZOD IndyCar Series will go racing next year in the streets of Qingdao, a city of 8.7 million people by the Yellow Sea long known as “China’s Switzerland” for its European heritage and as home of Tsingtao Beer. In fact, the event date of August 19, 2012 will run alongside the Qingdao International Beer Festival.
Here’s the full release from the series on this historic event:
INDIANAPOLIS (Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011) – A first-ever IZOD IndyCar Series race in China is among four international destinations announced today by INDYCAR for the 2012 season.
The IZOD IndyCar Series will race on a 3.87-mile street circuit in Qingdao, China – the Yellow Sea coastal city of 8.7 million between Beijing and Shanghai that played host to the 2008 Summer Olympics Sailing competition. INDYCAR also will sanction 2012 events in Toronto, Ontario, São Paulo, Brazil, and Edmonton, Alberta.
“As the world global economy continues to grow and evolve, China, the world’s second-largest economy, has become a top priority with most American businesses and the sponsors that are committed to INDYCAR,” said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. “Last year, at our sponsorship summit, China was the No. 1 place our sponsors wanted to go outside of the United States.
“We are very excited and truly grateful for the full support of the Chinese Government, Qingdao City Government and related Government Bureaus in providing the opportunity to bring the IZOD IndyCar Series to China. We are committed to doing our part in making this a fantastic race event weekend to be seen on the world stage.”
The race will be contested on a temporary street circuit, with the long-term objective of constructing a permanent racing and entertainment venue. Known for its German and French heritage, Qingdao boasts an almost European atmosphere, with the city often referred to as “China’s Switzerland.” The race is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 19, which coincides with the popular Qingdao International Beer Festival.
“The China automotive industry is experiencing explosive growth and it is just smart to begin establishing our brand and business roots in the China marketplace,” said Terry Angstadt, Commercial Division President, INDYCAR. “Over the last three years – with full support of the Chinese Government, Qingdao City Government and related Government Bureaus – U.S.-based INDYCAR representative ARD, China race promoter Yinxin Investment, as well as major sponsor Qingdao City Construction Investment Group have worked with our team in the realization of this historic race event. We couldn’t be happier for the future Chinese race fans and the extended INDYCAR family.”
The event in Qingdao complements two other venues that return to the IZOD IndyCar Series calendar for 2012: the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Sunday, June 3, and the Auto Club Speedway oval in Fontana, Calif., for a race under the lights Saturday, Sept. 15.
The 2012 season, which will feature the return of engine manufacturer competition and a new, stylish car, kicks off Sunday, March 25, with the eighth Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, with Pole Day on Saturday, May 19.
The remainder of the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule, and the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights schedule, will be announced soon.