Aug 22, 2013, 1:15 PM EDT
From my perspective, one of the biggest strikes against the IZOD IndyCar Series in recent times has been its unbearably long off-season period. For a series that is having to battle for fans at every turn, it makes absolutely no sense to disappear from the public eye for six months after the end of the season.
By the time the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg rolled around this past March to open the 2013 campaign, the IndyCar faithful were as restless as all get-out to see their league go back to business.
Perhaps this is why INDYCAR president of competition Derrick Walker, as part of his plan to increase the sport’s global audience, has outlined a series of off-season events that could lead to an winter championship by 2015 – or perhaps, even an overseas start to the official IndyCar Series season in January or February.
According to Autosport’s Gary Watkins, Walker’s argument for such a proposal is simple: It keeps the teams more busy outside of limited off-season test days, and it fills their coffers at a time of year where they could use some extra money.
Furthermore, a European-based group known as World Series Operations has apparently put forward a proposal for a five-race schedule known as the “IndyCar Global Challenge,” which would start at the end of 2014.
Certainly, an international winter series sounds like a nice idea. It would give the fans something to look forward to, and for the teams, it gives them something to work on – and perhaps a means to try out prospective drivers for the season to come.
And, it bears noting that perhaps it would make it easier for INDYCAR to end their official year in time to get out of the way of the all-conquering National Football League.
But one could also argue that INDYCAR’s biggest problems remain here at home and that it needs to settle those issues first before taking on other, more “global” projects.
Then there’s the obvious question of why INDYCAR just can’t find some warm-weather spots here in the States and have those go off in January as part of the official championship? No exhibitions, a full-tilt run from January to Labor Day, and then, a well-earned flop on the couch to watch some pigskin.
What do you think, readers? Do you feel that a global off-season series can be a benefit for INDYCAR? Or do you believe that they should steer clear of it until they’re on relatively better footing?
Leave your thoughts below, just keep ‘em clean.
Jul 26, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Finn challenged the decision not to run again in Q1, and was proven right when Jules Bianchi knocked him out of qualifying.
Jul 26, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS – When Sunday’s 21st running of the Brickyard 400 is in the rearview mirror, we’re once again likely to hear significant griping about “did you see all the empty seats at Indy?”
Jul 26, 2014, 12:35 PM EDT
Petty: “Our main deal is not to run NASCAR. Anything we do to tear NASCAR down is cutting our own throats.”
Jul 26, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT
Hamilton calls on Mercedes to improve the reliability of his car following yet another problem during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Jul 26, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT
Williams driver continuing his run of good form despite the car not suiting the Hungaroring circuit.
Jul 26, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT
Four-time Brickyard 400 champion leads an abbreviated “Happy Hour” with a lap of 189.298 mph.
Jul 26, 2014, 11:00 AM EDT
Defending world champion matches his best qualifying result of the season in Hungary.
Jul 26, 2014, 10:35 AM EDT
Ferrari driver delighted to qualify so well at the Hungaroring, and is now focusing on a good start in tomorrow’s race.
Jul 26, 2014, 9:45 AM EDT
German driver would have preferred a straight fight with Lewis Hamilton, but delighted all the same to bag pole in Hungary.
Jul 26, 2014, 9:10 AM EDT
Crazy qualifying session in Hungary ends with Rosberg at the front once again.
Jul 26, 2014, 8:43 AM EDT
An engine fire sees Hamilton’s hopes of a first pole since the Spanish Grand Prix go up in flames.
Jul 26, 2014, 7:15 AM EDT
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has no doubts about the future of his star driver.
Jul 26, 2014, 6:30 AM EDT
Boycott of the race in Sochi this October seems unlikely.
Jul 26, 2014, 6:02 AM EDT
Clean sweep of practices for Hamilton, but Rosberg is still hanging onto his teammate’s coattails.
Jul 26, 2014, 4:45 AM EDT
Lewis Hamilton looks to continue his clean sweep of practice in Hungary.
Jul 26, 2014, 1:14 AM EDT
BROWNSBURG, Ind. – In an exciting finish that featured plenty of beating and banging, Kyle Busch waited until the final turn of the final lap to get by John Hunter Nemechek and win Friday night’s ARCA CRA Super Series Circle City 100 late-model event at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Jul 25, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
Action Express wins Indy; RSR, Viper and Ferrari the other TUDOR Championship class winners.
Jul 25, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT
After Tanner Foust emerged as the victor of a riotous final in New York, the beat goes on for Red Bull GRC this weekend with a trip to The Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.