The IZOD IndyCar Series won’t be going back to Las Vegas Motor Speedway any time soon.
The series announced Thursday night that IndyCar won’t close out the 2012 season at Las Vegas as previously planned because they don’t want a repeat of the horror show that took place in October when two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon was killed in a 15-car pileup
The series was scheduled to close its 2012 season at the speedway next Oct. 14, but IndyCar and speedway officials said considerable testing with the new car to be used by the series next year is needed prior to returning to the facility.
"We feel we need to give our technical team ample time to conduct thorough testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, once we complete our ongoing investigation into the 15-car accident during the Oct. 16 race at the track," said Randy Bernard, CEO.
The 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series season opens March 25 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The complete schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Observers are wondering just how many races the series will end up running. With Las Vegas gone, only three ovals remain from the preliminary schedule, California, Iowa and Indianapolis (the Fort Worth race is also on the buble). The street race in Baltimore is also reportedly at risk because of financial difficulties stemming from the first event.
In other scheduling news, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will open Mosport’s 2012 racing season next May.
Canada’s only national racing series will headline the Victoria Day Speedfest in mid-May that’s traditionally kicked off the racing season at the legendary circuit north of Bowmanville.
The Canadian Tire series is no stranger to Mosport, having headlined the June Father’s Day Weekend meeting in recent years. And as well as racing on the road course, the NASCAR Canada cars and stars have always raced at least once a seson on the half-mile Mosport Speedway oval and will do that once again in June.
When fans head out there next May, they will be astonished at the improvements that have been made to the facility since racing ended in the fall. A new entrance road, a double tunnel that will allow race transporters to come and go while racing is being conducted on the track, improved spectator viewing areas and much improved access roads around and inside the circuit are just some of the things that have changed since new owners Al Boughton, Ron Fellows and Carlo Fidani took over the plant last June.
Here is the full Mosport Raceway schedule for 2012.
May 18-20 Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series; SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am; Castrol Touring Car Championship; Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada; F1000 Pro Series
June 15-17 33rd Annual Int’l Vintage Racing Festival
This year’s featured marque is Corvette. Regular classes include Historic & Vintage Production; Sports Racers; Group 70+; Open Wheel
June 16 Mosport Speedway 200 (at Mosport Speedway)
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series returns for second date, this time at Canada’s fastest half-mile paved oval
June 22-24 Mosport Sports Car Doubleheader Weekend
Pirelli World Challenge (GT, GTS, Touring, B Spec); Porsche 944 Cup
July 19-22 Mobil 1 Presents The Grand Prix of Mosport
American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón; Cooper Tires Prototype Lites; Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada; IMSA GT3 Challenge; Castrol Touring Car Championship
August 24-26 Mosport Superbike Doubleheader Weekend
Pro Superbike; Pro Sport Bike; Amateur Superbike; Harley-Davidson XR1200; Honda CBR250R Challenge; BMW Motorrad SummerFest