INDYCAR received written commitment April 28 from the governor of the state of Rio Grande do Sul and the mayor of Porto Alegre of their intention to play host to a second IZOD IndyCar Series race in Brazil.
Gov.-elect Tarso Genro and Mayor Jose Fortunati signed a letter of intent that both municipal and state governments will seek federal and corporate funding to stage the event on the streets of Porto Alegre in September 2012.
INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and commercial division president Terry Angstadt joined the officials for the latest round of meetings in the capital city of more than 1.4 million (3.9 million metropolitan area).
“It appears to us that the governor and mayor are very optimistic that all funding will happen and that we will soon reach a formal agreement to have a race in 2012,” Angstadt said upon his return to the Anhembi circuit that is playing host to the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300 presented by Nestle this weekend. “The cooperation between the state and municipal level indicates the broad-based support necessary to host world-class international events.
“What’s exciting to us is this three-country platform – to have a race in a section of Brazil with close proximity to Argentina and Uruguay. It’s a very business-friendly market so it’s perfect for INDYCAR.”
Even the working title of the event – Grand Prix Mercosur (Portuguese translation of free market) – represents the local and tri-country platform.
With the São Paulo race establishing date equity in late April and the potential Porto Alegre race tentatively scheduled for September, the in-country events would complement each other like Toronto and Edmonton on the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule.
Five rivers converge to form a navigable freshwater lake, which makes Porto Alegre an important port and commercial center for the region.
“They are a net giver to taxation like São Paulo -- big, healthy and they provide a lot of revenue to the government,” Angstadt said. “It’s a big and important part of the country and would be very exciting to go there. We so like the São Paulo event and look forward to another exciting race with an enthusiastic capacity crowd. We think these events are positively impacting INDYCAR because you’re raising the entire brand within the country.”