The much-awaited official calendar for the 2018 Verizon Indycar season has finally released and fans received a big shock: Watkins Glen, a fan favourite track which Indycar returned to in 2016, was off the calendar.
This happened as Indycar and the track officials could not strike up a deal which would suit both parties.
Instead of going to New York for the ‘Grand Prix At The Glen’, Indycar will now head to Portland, Oregon to race at the Portland Raceway.
The track is 3.17 kilometers long and with it’s medium-paced flowing corners, the track shares a lot of similarities with the Circuit De Magny-Cours in France.
Both the tracks have very few realistic overtaking opportunities but the corners are so flowing that the drivers just love to drive on the track! The races at Portland may be lacking overtaking, but Indycar is never short of action, even when there is less overtaking!
What I feel is that Indycar must go to the more popular American racetracks such as Road Atlanta, Laguna Seca or COTA.
This is because these tracks offer fantastic racing with wheel-to wheel battles being a common feature of these tracks. Secondly, the sheer popularity of these tracks will benefit Indycar a lot as several fans can be attracted to the sport.
Also, I believe that Indycar must return to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana as soon as possible; the track is one of America’s finest speedways and always offered a crazy race no matter what series was racing there. The last time that Indycar raced at Fontana was at the MATV Auto Club 500 in 2015 and that race was one to remember with every single car battling it out for the win.
To make space for the Auto Club Speedway, I feel that the short Iowa Speedway, which hardly ever offers great racing, can be taken out. The track is very short and narrow and although overtaking is frequent there, the races there are duller than modern day Formula One GPs.
Apart from the fast Portland Raceway coming in instead of the legendary Watkins Glen circuit, there are no other changes from the 2017 calendar in terms of tracks being used.
The season starts on the 11th of March with the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida being the host to the first race of the season.
The iconic Indianapolis 500 takes place on the 27th Of May and the finale, as usual, takes place at the superb Sonoma circuit in California on the 16th September.