IndyCar Postponement Could Affect Some Part-Time Drivers

INDIANAPOLIS — Due to the COVOID-19 virus, the sporting world is facing a ton of uncertainty. As of now, the best case scenario is for the NTT IndyCar Series to resume activity is the second weekend of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That’s the best case. With the CDC warnings to avoid groups of more than 10 people until the weekend of May 8-9-10, that butts right up to the GMR Grand Prix on the 2.439-mile IMS road course which has a slated race date of May 9 to run.

Right now, all activity is postponed until then. No testing, not racing, nothing. IndyCar isn’t alone. Every form of motorsports is in the same boat. In turn, that leaves some unique situations for some of the part-time drivers.

I mean, think about it. Sebastien Bourdais was contracted to drive four races in the famed No. 14 Chevrolet for AJ Foyt Racing in 2020. Three of those four races were the opening rounds and with those races being postponed, what does he do?

We know that St. Pete and Long Beach aren’t going to be on the schedule this year now. The race at Barber is the only one that could surface later in the year, but even that race is in question. They have already given everyone refunds that desired.

So, does Bourdais pick up those three races elsewhere or is he a one-off? Plus, he has sports car commitments. What weekends when they resume will clash with IndyCar?

Same for Felipe Nasr with Carlin. He is supposed to be a full time IMSA driver. Like Bourdais, he doesn’t know now when IMSA will resume and what that schedule would look like. In turn, that puts his name in doubt for the No. 31 Chevrolet with them.

Then there’s Scott McLaughlin’s debut with Team Penske in that GMR Grand Prix. McLaughlin, casted doubt on if he can race this year in IndyCar now with all that’s going on.

“I know there’s a fair degree of doubt on the Indy Grand Prix taking place at Indianapolis in early May,” McLaughlin said earlier this week. “Let’s just wait and see. There are way more important issues right now than racing cars and while I’m disappointed at how this is potentially playing out, I’m not losing sight of the big picture.”

McLaughlin’s full time focus is on Supercar’s overseas. They too are on a hiatus. Who knows when they’ll return and if that will clash with the race in May or even if the race in May is postponed, if anything else he can do here rivals what he’s doing in Australia.

 

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