As the anticipation builds for the 2024 IndyCar Series schedule, racing enthusiasts and fans worldwide are eagerly awaiting any hints about the inclusion of international non-points races. The buzz centers primarily on the prospect of Argentina hosting one of North America’s premier open-wheel championship events.
Mario Andretti, the legendary 1969 Indianapolis 500 winner and 1978 F1 world champion, reminisces about the heyday of IndyCar racing, recalling the early ’90s when the sport captured the hearts of fans across 120 countries. “They had to start all over again,” he says, “but I think the sport is living in a good moment right now, in general.”
Andretti’s optimism about the current state of IndyCar is palpable. He believes that the series possesses all the necessary ingredients for success—top-tier drivers, solid teams, and an unparalleled talent pool. With such assets in hand, he wonders, “why not expand it?”
However, Andretti’s vision extends beyond mere exhibition races. He passionately states, “I would love to see, not non-championship races, but championship events if they’re hosted outside of the United States.” His belief in the importance of these international races gaining championship status is resolute.
The idea of Argentina hosting an IndyCar event has been gaining momentum over the past year. Juncos Hollinger Racing’s demonstration runs in November, at Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Santiago del Estero and Autodromo Oscar y Juan Galvez in Buenos Aires, marked the first time in 51 years that an Indy car had graced the tracks of Argentina. The historic significance was not lost on racing enthusiasts, and it kindled the hope of a return.
Agustin Canapino, a native Argentine with multiple touring car titles to his name, participated in these demonstrations. His involvement added a layer of authenticity and excitement to the events. Canapino’s return to Argentina, where he competed in the Turismo Carretera, Argentina’s premier touring car championship, generated massive fanfare.
Andretti firmly believes that any race that becomes part of the IndyCar series, regardless of its location, should carry championship points. Drawing a parallel with Formula 1’s past, he comments, “You know, Formula 1 used to have that; Silverstone used to have a non-points race. That doesn’t work. It just doesn’t really have any meaning, totally.”
In his view, the significance of a points race is that it ensures that everyone gives their absolute best. He contends, “You got to make it meaningful so the effort of everyone is 100 percent. And unless it’s a championship race, everyone will go, ‘Well, I think we got to relax on that one.’ That doesn’t work. Just leave it alone then. Either do it right, go in there with both feet or stay the hell out. That’s my point.”
Graham Rahal, the 1986 Indy 500 winner and co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, shares a similar sentiment. He emphasizes that if IndyCar is going to venture to international destinations, the races must be worth it, not only for the teams but also for the series itself.
Reflecting on past experiences, Rahal notes that races in Australia and Japan were particularly profitable and financially robust for IndyCar. He contrasts this with other international events, such as those in Brazil, where financial issues still linger. Rahal insists that quality events like those in Australia and Japan should carry championship points.
In conclusion, the debate over international non-points races in IndyCar continues to gather steam. The voices of racing legends like Mario Andretti and Graham Rahal carry considerable weight as they advocate for making these events count in the championship standings. Whether these races ultimately become points-scoring affairs remains to be seen, but the excitement and anticipation among fans and drivers are undeniably building as the 2024 IndyCar schedule remains a closely guarded secret.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IndyCar International Races
Q: What is the main topic of the text?
A: The main topic of the text is the debate surrounding international IndyCar races and whether they should be included as points-scoring events in the championship.
Q: Who are the key figures mentioned in the text?
A: The key figures mentioned in the text are Mario Andretti, a legendary racing figure, and Graham Rahal, the co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. They both express their opinions on the importance of international races in the IndyCar series.
Q: What is Mario Andretti’s opinion on international IndyCar races?
A: Mario Andretti believes that international IndyCar races should not be mere exhibition events but should have championship status, meaning they should award points. He emphasizes the need to make these races meaningful and ensure that everyone gives their best effort.
Q: How has Argentina been involved in discussions about international IndyCar races?
A: Argentina has been a focal point of discussions about hosting international IndyCar races. There have been demonstration runs in Argentina, and the idea gained traction after these events. Agustin Canapino, a native Argentine and racing champion, participated in these demonstrations, adding to the excitement.
Q: According to Graham Rahal, why should international races be worth it for IndyCar?
A: Graham Rahal believes that international races should be financially beneficial not only for the teams but also for the IndyCar series. He cites past races in Australia and Japan as profitable examples and emphasizes the importance of making these races points-scoring events to increase their value.
Q: What recent development is mentioned in the text that could impact the debate on international races?
A: The text mentions a recent announcement of a non-points special event at The Thermal Club in California, offering a substantial prize of $1 million to the winner. This development raises questions about the significance of non-points races and their potential impact on the IndyCar series.
Q: What is the overall tone of the text?
A: The overall tone of the text is informative and balanced, presenting the opinions of Mario Andretti and Graham Rahal on the topic of international IndyCar races and their potential importance in the championship.
More about IndyCar International Races
- IndyCar Series: Official website of the IndyCar Series for updates and information on the racing events.
- F1 Flow.com: The source where Mario Andretti and Graham Rahal shared their opinions on international IndyCar races.
- Juncos Hollinger Racing: The team mentioned in the text that conducted demonstration runs in Argentina.
- Turismo Carretera: Information about the Turismo Carretera, Argentina’s premier touring car championship.
- The Thermal Club: Details about the non-points special event and Open Test mentioned in the text.