Brazilian Bust: IndyCar Told ‘Tough Tittie’

1Indyproblem

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

The latest IndyCar scheduling disaster had local Brazilian authorities unilaterally cancel the March 8 season opener barely a month before the nearly sold out event. The announcement Thursday afternoon by the promoter in Brazil took the series completely by surprise and has overshadowed all other news this week, including a drivers’ meeting and the announcement of Brian Barnhart’s return as race director. It’s not the kind of news IndyCar needs, representing yet another crisis at 16th and Georgetown.

1mwshh

Image from Indy Race Reviewer

The league’s point man in Brazil Tony Cotman has been telling us for months that construction on the circuit is “on schedule” and would be completed in time for the event. In essence we’ve been told by Cotman and the series that “everything’s fine, nothing to see here.” We now know that’s not the case and Cotman among others has some explaining to do. After all, the canceled race was his baby and someone stateside must be held accountable for this fiasco. Remember that awful chicane at the defunct Baltimore race? The horrid parking lot track at the defunct Houston races? And the ice like front straight at the previous venue in Brazil? Those were Cotman’s doing, as well.

tc1070thefancom

Photo from 1070thefan.com

In a real bind, the series is now down to sixteen  races – two of them yawners in Detriot – for 2015. By comparison, NASCAR holds over three times that many races while F1 will race in twenty different countries this year. Ecclestone’s ridiculously expensive sideshow even manages to hold an annual race in Brazil. On the bright side for IndyCar fans, at least the oval to road course distribution is a bit more even. Hurray.

Bernieswinbrooknet

Photo from swinbrook.net

The ramifications of the Brazilian bust for IndyCar are numerous. Questions are now being raised about broadcast partners and their contracts, particularly NBCSN. Of course most important are the fans. Not only have they been cheated out of 6% of their race schedule, but the series they follow looks amateurish, incompetent and bumbling. Imagine if major league baseball or pro football simply canceled their season opener. It’s unthinkable and a poignant illustration of why IndyCar isn’t nearly on the same level – and won’t be for the foreseeable future.

dubaiusatodaucom

Photo from usatoday.com

IndyCar brought this on themselves being seduced by vast amounts of foreign money and agreeing to another sketchy deal – see China 2012 for another recent example. Race in Dubai in 2016, anyone? The series brass have some explaining to do, but more importantly they need some different thinking at the Speedway. Venues in the United States – including oval tracks – deserve more serious consideration when putting together future schedules. Decisive actions must be taken to ensure this sort of debacle doesn’t recur – again.

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21 thoughts on “Brazilian Bust: IndyCar Told ‘Tough Tittie’

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