Indy promoters get a '9'

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:38 PM ET

The new promoters of Edmonton Indy get a “9” from IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard.

In a pre-race interview, the boss of the series gave the Octane Motorsport Events group the mark, saying the only thing he can suggest they do for next year “is add more grandstands.

"And that's a compliment,” he said.

Bernard kept the Edmonton date on the schedule clear during the winter, even though the event was cancelled by city council over a $3 million paving bill to move it from one corner of the City Centre Airport to the other. He said it was worth taking the chance that the city would get the race back on track.

“It's been a very crazy year for Edmonton,” he said of losing the race, getting it back and having such a late start to promote, organize and sell everything, much of it from Montreal instead of having a strong, visible presence in the city.

“I am very excited about this event going forward. When it comes to Octane, their mark goes way up with me.

“Don't forget, if Octane hadn't stepped up and decided to come here, we wouldn't be here.

“We felt it was most important to have this race. We wanted Edmonton. And we wanted two races in Canada.

“I am very impressed with what Octane did in its first year,” he said of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix promoters, who actually ended up with a half a year to put this together.

“Their professionalism gets a '9'. Last year was a '6',” he said of previous promoter Northlands.

“I'm looking at it like a fan would look at it. It's about giving the fan a great experience.

“The suites are first class,” he said.

"The grandstands are going to be full,” he said.

"The motor home stalls, suites and three of the six major grandstands sold out before the race.”

As for the new track itself, he said he has only one measuring stick he uses when it comes to that.

“The drivers love it so I love it,” he said.

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones


Photos