July 22, 2010
Group denies bringing Indy to Calgary
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
The bosses at Octane Racing Group denied on Wednesday that they are considering a second race in Alberta after signing a deal to run the Honda Indy Edmonton.
Sources had told the Toronto Sun that Octane -- the same group that promotes both the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix and the NASCAR Nationwide NAPA 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal -- had planned a meeting with Calgary officials to discuss the possibility of putting a race in the Stampede City by 2012.
"We have not talked to anyone in Calgary," Normand Prieur, spokesman for Octane said in a telephone interview. "Octane is 100% concentrating on the Honda Indy Edmonton."
Prieur emphasised that while the group considers Calgary a very viable race market, to try to promote two IndyCar events in such close proximity would be "very difficult."
In fact, Prieur said Octane officials were waiting late Wednesday afternoon for the results of the Edmonton City Council vote to name them promoters of the IndyCar race in that city.
However, that vote was expected to be just a formality, rubber stamping a deal that has been in the worked for weeks.
In its heyday the CART/Champ Car World Series had three Canadian races -- Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
But when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics that race wascancelled because the athletes village was built where the race track had been.
The Montreal race died an ignominious death after attendance faltered badly.
The Molson Sports and Entertainment group had thought that Calgary would be the perfect site to replace Vancouver, but then Molson dropped out of the race promotion business.
It did, however, leave behind fairly details plans for how to build a temporary street course that would include the Calgary Stampede grounds.
Prieur said neither he nor anybody from Octane Racing had seen or heard of those plans.