The Verizon IndyCar series has announced its Phoenix race at the ISM Raceway will not take place in 2019. The series had only returned to the track in 2016 after an 11-year absence.
A joint statement was made by IndyCar and the Arizona track, stating that attendances at the venue in Avondale had disappointed in spite of “considerable investment” by the North American open-wheel series and the organisers of the meet.
The statement did not rule out a return to the calendar for Phoenix, with track president Bryan Sperber a close partner of the series.
However, despite the uncertainty of the IndyCar calendar with a replacement now required for Phoenix, the competition has secured an agreement with Road America to extend IndyCar’s relationship with the Wisconsin course for a further three years.
Track president George Bruggenthies announced the news ahead of Sunday’s Kohler Grand Prix at Road America. Since re-joining the IndyCar schedule in 2016, attendances have remained consistently strong.
Bruggenthies said: “Ask any driver, from nearly every discipline, especially open-wheel, and they love this place. The track is designed to make full use of the natural terrain, with elevation changes and undulating turns that allow for intense speeds that test driver skill to the maximum. Combine that with our park-like atmosphere, open seating and great spectator locations and it all equates to IndyCar Series racing at its best.”
Mark Miles, president and chief executive of Hulman and Company, the parent company of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway said: “Road America represents everything good about IndyCar racing, from the on-track action to the viewing opportunities to the fans and staff here. We welcome the chance to race here for years to come.”