Edmonton Indy date set

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:13 PM ET

The Honda Indy Edmonton will almost be an island to itself on the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.

With a July 24 spot, the seventh consecutive major-league open-wheel race at the Edmonton City Centre Airport will follow a July 10 Honda Indy Toronto moved-ahead date in the 17-race season announced Friday.

There will also be an off week after the Edmonton race leading into an Aug. 7 Mid-Ohio date.

The Octane Racing Group, promoters of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, which has taken over the Edmonton event, is happy to have a schedule where there's plenty of time for everybody to get here for the July 22-23-24 event, which ties in nicely to the July 8-17 Calgary Stampede.

"The week off between Toronto and Edmonton sure gives the teams a chance to return to Indianapolis, get their cars fixed and return fresh to Edmonton," said Octane spokesman Normand Prieur.

"Having the same weekend as last year is great so the fans can stick with tradition. We're happy to again be the only Western Canadian race so we can promote Edmonton as the racing capital of Western Canada, which was our intention. We plan to promote the race very hard from Winnipeg to the West Coast and in the Northwestern United States. We want to make Edmonton the destination for auto racing fans from everywhere in the Pacific Northwest. I think you'll find we have some great ideas in store."

Octane is expecting to have an Edmonton office opening, ticket sales-launching, Honda sponsorship-extending event in the near future.

"We are still working on details for the Edmonton events," said Prieur.

"We had to create the company, finalize details with the City of Edmonton and with the Indy Racing League. Everything is going as we wish. We are a bit delayed on our calendar, but not much. We intend to open the office in Edmonton in the near future and put the 2011 tickets on sale soon."

The IZOD IndyCar Series schedule will feature nine road/street/airport courses and eight ovals, including a to-be-announced (likely Las Vegas) oval race to end the season.

The return of the historic Milwaukee Mile to the schedule, a return as well to New Hampshire Motor Speedway after a 13-year absence and a new downtown street event in Baltimore are featured on the schedule.

"It was important that the series continue to strike a balance between ovals and non-ovals to maintain our claim to having the most diverse racing schedule in the world," said Randy Bernard, CEO of the series.

"We want to have the best drivers in the world and it's important that our schedule truly challenges the best through short ovals, speedways, temporary circuits and road courses."

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos