Archive for April, 2011

UK IndyCar race in 2012? The London IndyCar Trophy

Mike Conway’s fantastic win in last weekends Grand Prix of Long Beach, coming hot on the heels of Dario Franchitti’s continued success only further strengthens the already strong case for a UK round of the IndyCar series in 2012.

I was lucky enough to be at Brands Hatch for the ‘Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford London Champ Car Trophy‘ (try saying that after a few beers).

Considering this race came at a time when Champ Car was starting to struggle (it wasn’t long before Bridgestone and Ford both ceased their title sponsorship) the event, which was combined with a round of the British Touring Car Championship, managed to achieve an attendance of around 60,000 over the weekend.

It was the slickest show I’ve ever seen at Brands (beating both the inaugural A1GP round and the DTM weekend for polish and a sense of event). As well as bringing out the crowds the corporate sponsors were there in force.

So. What are the chances of a 2012 UK round of the IZOD IndyCar series?

On the plus side, the worst pain of reunification seems to be in the past now, and IndyCar is looking more settled than it has for a while. Also, with the 2012 season bringing the debut of the new  lower cost Dallara Safety Cell chassis, new twin turbo engines from Honda and Chevrolet (also Group Lotus if you believe the hype) and new multiple aero packages, it should be one of the most positive and exciting seasons for many years.

Another big plus? Twitter and the social media revolution now make viral marketing a lot more effective than in the recent past, even at the time of the London Champ Car Trophy. If every F1 fan on twitter and the blogs gets on the bandwagon and starts talking about IndyCar coming to the UK we could quickly reach a position where this idea gets a critical mass behind it and we can make the dream a reality.

I’ve already (more in hope than anything) given Mark Blundell a Twitter nudge to see whether he can think of a suitable person to promote the event, and got an enigmatic ‘now let me think’ in reply.

Ideal world? A pitch to Indy CEO Randy Bernard led by Mark Blundell’s 2MB management company (managers of Andretti driver Mike Conway) for a UK race, in collaboration with MotorSport Vision at Brands, getting Sky on board  for coverage (ok easier said than done – but I said ideal world). Leverage Vauxhall UK and Chevrolet’s common ownership for title sponsorship, do the BTCC tie up again (and ideally DTM too), get the Lotus Renault drivers into the race, err, and that should do it!

Who’s with me!!??

Here’s some video of the 2003 event: