Racing Circuit Drops Miami Grand Prix From Schedule
By Susan Stabley
Miami’s Grand Prix Americas race has been dropped from next year’s American Le Mans Series schedule.
The race, brought to the city’s downtown two years ago by Miami-based Raceworks and now owned by Championship Auto Racing Teams of Indianapolis, had been part of the Le Mans Series schedule. But a spokesman with American Le Mans said the Miami race is not on the 2004 schedule announced last week because of uncertainty about the event’s future.
"The promoters at Miami were unable to confirm anything before the deadline," said Andy Hall, director of media and communications for American Le Mans.
Adding the Miami race to the schedule is "possible but unlikely," he said Tuesday.
CART paid a fee to American Le Mans to include the race on its 2003 schedule. Mr. Hall declined to disclose the amount.
The first race, in October 2002, was billed as first in the US in which American Le Mans, CART FedEx Championship and Trans-Am’s BF Goodrich Tires Cup races were part of one event. The second Grand Prix Americas race, Sept. 26-28, was promoted as a "dual-headline" with the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford joining the American Le Mans Series. The race was also part of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship series.
The Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority, which loaned Grand Prix Americas $2 million for course infrastructure in its inaugural year, tied a series of family-oriented events such as boat races to last month’s Grand Prix Americas in what it hopes will become an annual Raceweek.
Grand Prix Americas President Chuck Martinez on Tuesday referred all questions about the American Le Mans schedule to CART headquarters. CART officials were traveling to Australia for a race and could not be reached.
Organizers are licensed to stage the Miami race for the next 15 years on a course along Biscayne Boulevard and through Bayfront Park.
Open Wheel Racing Series LLC is in the process of acquiring the publicly traded CART, which recently reported a net loss of $34.5 million in its second fiscal quarter.