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Could The Loss of Long Beach Mean The End of IndyCar?

Rumours have turned into more or less believable financial figures recently how F1 could take Long Beach back. These mills include some investors you might have thought of or you had wished you have. From the race fan's perspective that doesn't really matter. What matters is whether the so-fragile organisation of IndyCar could survive yet another such loss.

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Make no mistake here, Indianapolis + Long Beach = IndyCar. The rest of the season can be replaced with other contenders. These two races define what IndyCar is today. American open-wheel racing once lost Indianapolis to a rival that is running IndyCar today, and it wasn't too far off to say the definite host of The Great American Race would hold the 500-miler with stock cars. During this period it was up to Long Beach to fly the flag for CART and it is fair to say that it forever established itself as the "street Indy" apart from being the "Monaco of the US" [insert your rant about it here]. Either of these races go away during such unstable period for motor racing, IndyCar shall be driven to the ground now, most likely.


In 1996 there had been enough fans to American open-wheel racing to support two series that went against each other, but it also meant their respective supporters pulled in different directions, too, and slowly killed the phenomena itself, - only to regain some of their integrity based on the history and remaining fans from years ago. Are there enough fans to support a series that is defined by the month of May only, with the rest of the season serving as a prelude and post-note to one single event, without any relevant manufacturer support or household names on the driver front?

Sportscar racing in the US relatively quickly realised they needed to join after witnessing what happened to Indy and noticing that they were probably left out in the cold without any major manufacturer involvement, and while it has massive teething problems, they most likely took the right direction. Those sports cars have the prestige Indy cars might not, as it is easier to connect casinos, golf courses and holiday resorts with Ferraris and Porsches while everyone can drive Corvettes around. Now if only they were able to further simplify the categories, it could easily be the thinking man's race series that is accessible to all audiences, too, that has clear strategy involved and technological relevance - all of those that should define open-wheel racing but don't.


In spirit of the Indy 500, I'm afraid TUSCC is much closer to the ethos it represents than IndyCar itself. Should F1 make a move to Long Beach, the new faces of the month of May could be sports cars for the better, stock cars for the worst.

What's your take on the sate of IndyCar and F1's pushing to take another step on the West coast?

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