IndyCar has race prospects ‘outside the US’ next season

US-based series also looking at season break during Paris Olympics, according to Penske CEO Mark Miles.
  • IndyCar likely to have schedule break during 2024 Paris Olympics
  • Any significant schedule expansion may have to wait until 2025

Mark Miles, chief executive of Penske Entertainment, has revealed that IndyCar has options to race “outside the US” in 2024, although talks remain at an exploratory stage.

The series has long harboured ambitions to return to racing outside North America, having last ventured beyond its heartland in 2013 for a race in São Paulo.

Now that Penske Entertainment has brought stability to the US-based series, having purchased it in 2019, rumours of international expansion have picked up.

“I think domestically, the number [of races] is more likely than not going to remain at 17,” Miles told Racer. “I’m not saying that’s fixed, but that looks like the most likely result.

“There are prospects for some racing after the championship is over outside of the US. If that occurred, that would add to the total number of races.”

In March, IndyCar officials visited the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina with a view to a potential race in the country, fuelled by the popularity of the Juncos Hollinger team and their Argentinian rookie Agustín Canapino.

With reports suggesting that the series is looking to add one race per season for the next three years, an international race seems likely sooner rather than later. A trip to Mexico is also a possibility to capitalise on the interest in arguably IndyCar’s most popular driver, Pato O’Ward.

That is not to say IndyCar is losing focus in the US, with a return to the Milwaukee Mile looking increasingly likely next season. Series officials are also rumoured to be exploring the possibility of a street race in Denver, another oval outing at Richmond International Raceway, and an unspecified road course in the west.

Outside of international expansion, IndyCar’s most pressing issue boils down to how it structures its calendar next season. The series needs to fill the month-long gap between its first two races, while it also must consider that its media rights partner NBC will have its full attention on the 2024 Paris Olympics during the summer.

Speaking to Racer, Miles continued: “Well, we’ve done it a few times now, and for any sport, the Olympics is challenging. For us, there will be some kind of a gap during the Olympics. Exactly what that looks like, it’s a little early to tell.

“The other gap, we’re working on it and I’m hopeful that we will be able to not have as many weeks off in 2024 as we did this year in that early spring portion of the season.

“So all that’s a work in progress. We’ll get the calendar out around the time of the finale of this season so everybody knows right away what to look forward to for the next year.”

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