Confusion over plans for new Rio de Janeiro IndyCar race in 2020

The Mayor of Rio de Janeiro has announced there will be an IndyCar race in the city in 2020, but series officials have denied any such deal has been done.

Mayor Marcelo Crivella said that he had received representatives from the IndyCar Series and declared the race will take place on a city street track with sections in the Sambodromo and Presidente Vargas Avenue.

A video was released on his Twitter account showing part of a proposed track layout, with Crivella stating in Portuguese “I’m here with the IndyCar organisers that will come to make a race here in 2020 in the Sambodromo.

“I saw the project, I’m going to publish this news about the race that we are thinking of doing here in Rio de Janeiro.

“It’s a great event for our city and it will attract a lot of tourists.”

But Mark Miles, CEO and president of IndyCar owner Hulman & Company, told Autosport he knew nothing about a race in Rio, while president of competition and operations Jay Frye said “there’s nothing to comment on”.

Tony Cotman of NZR Consulting, IndyCar’s usual designer of temporary street tracks, also said that he could not comment.

CART Indycars raced in Rio de Janeiro from 1996 to 2000 at the highly challenging Jacarepagua trapezoid-shaped oval, which used part of the old Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix course.

That track was demolished in 2012 to make way for the ’16 Summer Olympics.

IndyCar’s last appearance in Brazil was a race on the streets of Sao Paulo that ran from 2010-13.

A proposed 2015 event in Brasilia was cancelled under two months before it was due to be held as the season opener due to a change of governorship in the region.

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