Indy returning to Cleveland airport?
Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport on the shores of Lake Eerie hosted Champ Car races every year without exception from 1982 through 2007. The event was a fan favorite, but after the Champ Car World Series re-merged with the Indy Racing League to make today's IndyCar Series, the event was dropped from the calendar. Following an eight-year gap, however, discussions are reportedly underway to bring the race back to the lakeside airport.
According to Racer.com, an undisclosed sponsor approached Gene Haskett with the idea of reviving the race. Haskett had promoted the event between 1983 and 1992, and the company came forth with the idea of providing title sponsorship to put it all together.
Though disinterested in taking up the task, Haskett contacted Roger Penske (who refused due to his involvement with the Belle Isle race), but series owner Mark Miles put them in touch instead with Mike Lanigan (co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), who promoted the last Champ Car race in Cleveland and is reportedly keen to bring the race back to the capital of Rock & Roll.
One potential roadblock would be to get the FAA to sign off on closing the airport for the whole weekend, but if they were willing and able to do it before, they can hopefully do it again.
In addition to the six races that are part of this year's calendar, and the Cleveland airport venue, Champ and Indy cars have raced at such Midwestern venues as Chicago Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Iowa Speedway, Gateway International Raceway, Michigan International Speedway, the streets of Detroit, the Milwaukee Mile and Road America.
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