Portland IndyCar canceled, Mid-Ohio becomes double-header

The NTT IndyCar Series’ next race event, to be held at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course in two weeks, will be a double-header, with the extra round effectively replacing this year's Grand Prix of Portland.

Portland IndyCar canceled, Mid-Ohio becomes double-header

Teams were informed on Thursday of the decision to cancel the 2020 race at Portland International Raceway, and the public confirmation is currently expected tomorrow (Monday).

Oregon’s state-wide crowd-gathering restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic – originally set at a maximum of 250 people – was always going to make it difficult for Portland International Raceway to host a race, even without fans present, given the number of IndyCar and team personnel necessary in the paddock.

However, earlier this week, Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown further cut this maximum to 100 people, as the state’s number of active coronavirus cases continues to rise.

Read Also:

This is particularly unfortunate for Portland which only returned to a top-line U.S. open-wheel racing schedule in 2018 after an 11 years hiatus, and proved a hit with fans and teams alike.

The event’s promoters, Green Savoree Racing Promotions, have at least been able to add a second race at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio. GSRP has worked through some tough times during this pandemic, with its traditional season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg halted at the last minute and currently scheduled as the season-closer in October, and the Honda Indy Toronto canceled for this year.

Mid-Ohio, which on the original 2020 IndyCar schedule was set to host the 14th round of the season on Aug. 16, will instead host the seventh and eighth rounds on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9.

Thus IndyCar will see its third straight double-header event of the season after those at Road America and Iowa Speedway, and the weekend format will be similar to that at Road America.

Although the timetable has not yet been revealed, Motorsport.com understands there will be a long practice session on Saturday morning, followed by two-group qualifying and then the race. On Sunday, there will again be two-group qualifying followed by the race.

However, the cars will be impounded in parc ferme conditions between qualifying and the race.

Further changes probable

Should the double-header set for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 19-20 also be deleted – for reasons of pandemic-caused restrictions, budget or organizational issues – IndyCar is most likely to turn the events at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and the Harvest Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course into double-headers.

WWTR president and CEO Curtis Francois has earned huge kudos for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500’s successful attraction of spectators to the Madilson, IL venue since IndyCar’s return in 2017, and fitting two IndyCar races and the NASCAR Truck race across the weekend of Aug. 29/30 should not cause major issues.

Social distancing requirements will necessarily restrict the number of fans allowed in the grandstands, but in terms of getting on-track activities completed, only the presence of Indy Pro 2000 will make the on-track scheduling any more complicated than at Iowa Speedway’s IndyCar double-header and ARCA event last weekend.

Meanwhile the Harvest Grand Prix on the IMS road course, should it also increase to two races, will mean the 2.439-mile course will have hosted three IndyCar races by season’s end.

shares
comments
Frye on new IndyCar engine supplier: “At some point it’ll happen”
Previous article

Frye on new IndyCar engine supplier: “At some point it’ll happen”

Next article

IndyCar confirms cancelation of Portland, Laguna Seca races

IndyCar confirms cancelation of Portland, Laguna Seca races
Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 IndyCar drivers of 2021

In an enthralling 2021 IndyCar campaign, the series bounced back from its COVID-19 truncated year prior and series sophomore Alex Palou defeated both the established order and his fellow young guns to clinch a maiden title. It capped a remarkable season with plenty of standout performers

IndyCar
Nov 22, 2021
How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar Prime

How Marcus Ericsson finally unlocked his potential in IndyCar

Marcus Ericsson enjoyed a breakout year in the IndyCar Series in 2021, winning twice and finishing sixth in points with Chip Ganassi Racing. How did he finally unlock the potential that was masked by five years of toil in Formula 1 with Caterham and Sauber/Alfa Romeo?

IndyCar
Nov 16, 2021
Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win Prime

Remembering Dan Wheldon and his last and most amazing win

Saturday, Oct. 16th, marks the 10th anniversary Dan Wheldon’s death. David Malsher-Lopez pays tribute, then asks Wheldon’s race engineer from 2011, Todd Malloy, to recall that magical second victory at the Indianapolis 500.

IndyCar
Oct 16, 2021
Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up? Prime

Have Harvey and RLL formed IndyCar’s next winning match-up?

Jack Harvey’s move to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing sparked plenty of debate, but their combined strength could prove golden, says David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 15, 2021
Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting Prime

Why Kyle Kirkwood is America's new IndyCar ace-in-waiting

Kyle Kirkwood, the record-setting junior formula driver, sealed the Indy Lights championship last weekend. But despite an absurdly strong résumé and scholarship money, his next move is far from clear. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Oct 6, 2021
2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star Prime

2021 IndyCar title is just the start for Ganassi's newest star

Alex Palou has captured Chip Ganassi Racing's 14th IndyCar drivers' championship, and in truly stellar manner. David Malsher-Lopez explains what made the Palou-Ganassi combo so potent so soon.

IndyCar
Sep 28, 2021
Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar Prime

Why Grosjean's oval commitment shows he's serious about IndyCar

One of motorsport’s worst-kept secrets now out in the open, and Romain Grosjean has been confirmed as an Andretti Autosport IndyCar driver in 2022. It marks a remarkable turnaround after the abrupt end to his Formula 1 career, and is a firm indication of his commitment to challenge for the IndyCar Series title  

IndyCar
Sep 24, 2021
IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch Prime

IndyCar’s longest silly-season is still at fever pitch

The 2021 IndyCar silly season is one of the silliest of all, but it’s satisfying to see so many talented drivers in play – including Callum Ilott. David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Sep 11, 2021