IndyCar explores Argentina as future race destination

Series officials toured Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo this week.

IndyCar explores Argentina as future race destination

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  • CEO Mark Miles toured the track yesterday
  • Juncos Hollinger team owner Ricardo Juncos leading discussions between the two parties
  • IndyCar chief of staff Mark Sibla says North America is the focus right now

IndyCar officials have toured the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in Argentina with a view to staging a race in the country in the future.

Chief executive Mark Miles travelled to the circuit with Michael Montri, vice president at Penske Entertainment, and owner of the Juncos Hollinger IndyCar team, Ricardo Juncos.

Also in attendance were renowned track designer Tony Cotman and Elías Arnett, along with the executive secretary of the Argentinian tourism board.

Juncos, who is Argentinian, has been pushing hard for this opportunity, and his team has also taken on an Argentinian driver in Agustín Canapino for this season. This partnership also saw Visit Argentina begin a sponsorship deal with the team.

The circuit currently hosts a MotoGP race, this year set for 2nd April, so any discussions would have to take this into consideration. There is no news on when this race could make its debut or how its going to be financed.

IndyCar last raced in Argentina in 1971 at the Autódromo de Rafaela, back when it was known as the USAC Championship. It is now ten years since the last time IndyCar ventured outside North America, with a street race taking place in São Paulo in 2013.

Argentina is currenty experiencing a financial crisis, with Reuters reporting that 12-month inflation reached 102.5 per cent in February, the first time it has hit triple figures since 1991, so it is unclear how much this will effect plans for a race.

Speaking exclusively to BlackBook Motorsport, IndyCar's chief of staff Mark Sibla revealed that any developments may be a few years off coming to fruition, especially as expanding beyond North America would go against the series' current efforts in becoming more sustainable.

“We're very focused right now on North America, and creating great events in North America,” he said. “It would have to be a very unique opportunity, something that just really fit well and made a lot of sense. [In that sense, one question] would be how does it fit within our sustainability initiatives? How are we able to transfer and transport assets in a process that is as thoughtful in that area as possible?”