Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: The BlueGrass State
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Grand Am pulls out of Mexico City
Grand-Am cancels Mexico City race
The Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series will not race in Mexico City for the first time in four years, it was learned during testing for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Grand-Am dropped the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit from the schedule, making the April 25 round at Virginia International Raceway the first race to follow the Rolex 24--scheduled for Jan. 24-25--meaning there is a three-month gap between the first two rounds of 2009.
The Mexico City race's future has been uncertain since NASCAR's Nationwide Series announced last year that it would drop its Mexico race, which the Grand-Am race supported on the bill. Grand-Am released a 2009 schedule in early October with Mexico City listed as a standalone event on the schedule but with a tentative date.
Nationwide and Grand-Am both suffered declining crowds ever since they debuted at the track in 2004. The Nationwide race drew an estimated 94,000 fans the first year, while just 57,000 attended in 2008.
NASCAR's decision to drop the race was also fueled by higher costs for team logistics, which also hit Grand-Am teams.
Grand-Am officials considered making the Mexico race a 1,000-kilometer, six-hour endurance event this year to offset the lost on-track action from the Nationwide pullout. But with the poor economy affecting all forms of motorsports, the schedule was trimmed to 12 races.
Teams said the long stretch of downtime after Daytona this year will increase the importance of the 24-hour endurance classic and will make for almost a second off-season to prepare for the remaining races. With 15 fewer cars testing for the Rolex 24 than last year, some teams hope the extra time might allow for more teams to secure funding.
Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.