Team Penske founder Roger Penske has stated that he does not want to see the Verizon IndyCar Series expand internationally and would instead prefer to the sport grow in North America.
It has been suggested that the series could host a non championship event in Europe at the end of the 2016 season. Speaking to Paddock Eye on Monday, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver James Hinchcliffe is delighted with the idea of expanding IndyCar into Europe saying:
For me, I think it’s a great idea, I mean first of all its adding races to my year which is obviously a big plus, I know there’s a big fan base in Europe, I think the races that CART and Champ Car did over there in years past were always incredibly successful and I think it’s important for us to think of ourselves as more than just a North American championship because of the diversity we have you know especially in the driver line up. Not having races anymore in Brazil or Japan we are really limited to how we’ve been in the past so getting back to Europe I think would be great.
I hope it is something we can do not just once and not just as a non-championship race, I would love to see races over there as part of the championship. In terms of what track? I mean there are so many over there, it’s tough to pick one, the odds are we’re not going to be able to secure Formula One circuits just because that’s the Bernie likes to run his show you know and that’s fine, but there are plenty of other race tracks around Europe that would be very suitable for IndyCar and I think put on a great show.
However Penske does not want this to happen as he feels that due to the fact that roughly 95% of the sponsors in the Verizon IndyCar Series are American companies that the sport should focus on maintaining the sponsors by creating business to business opportunities and he feels that this would not be achievable if the sport was to hold races outside of the US.
Penske is however happy for IndyCar to be racing in Canada with the Honda Indy Toronto one of the highlights on the calendar to teams and drivers alike with the race taking place on the grounds of Exhibition Place.
There has also been talk of Canada adding a race with Calgary reportedly keen to host an IndyCar event possibly as early as next year.
Penske is keen for the sport to make a return to Mexico City. IndyCar raced in Japan at the twin ring Motegi track up until 2011.