China is a huge market, not just for automakers, but for all sorts of American businesses. Those include sponsors involved with racing series like IndyCar. When those sponsors told IndyCar that they wanted to see racing in China, series organizers sprung to action. As a result, the IZOD IndyCar Series will visit world's second largest economy next season.
The race is scheduled for August 19, 2012, on the streets of Qingdao, a coastal city on the Yellow Sea situated between Beijing and Shanghai. Known as China's Switzerland due to its historic German and French influences, Qingdao hosted the sailing competitions for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Until a more permanent venue can be constructed, the race will be held on a temporary 3.87-mile street circuit.
It replaces the race at Motegi in Japan – the only race in Asia ever held by a major American open-wheel series (CART, Champ Car or IndyCar) – which was campaigned for the last time this season. The majority of the remaining races on next year's calendar will all be contested in the United States, save for Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the Toronto and Edmonton races in Canada. The development coincides with the emergence this year of Ho-Pin Tung as the first Chinese driver in American open-wheel racing, which should make the Qingdao race even more compelling for local fans.