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INDYCAR MEDIA CONFERENCE


May 21, 2015


Mark Miles

Mark Perrone

Will Power

Derrick Walker


THE MODERATOR:テつ Ladies and gentlemen, welcome.テつ We have an exciting announcement to make today.テつ IndyCar just announced that they have added a Boston street race to the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, racing on the South Boston waterfront on Labor Day weekend.テつ It will be an 11-turn, 2.25 mile temporary street course that surrounds the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.テつ
We have four guests joining us today.テつ We have Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman and Company, parent company of IndyCar, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.テつ Derrick Walker, IndyCar president of competition and operations.テつ Will Power, our 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series champion.テつ Joining us from Boston, we have Mark Perrone, the CEO of the Grand Prix of Boston.テつ
Mark Miles, I'll go ahead and start with you.テつ First of all, you've been eyeing Boston for quite a while now.テつ It's been in the news.テつ What makes the city of Boston so special and why do you think it's an important race market for IndyCar to get involved in?テつ
MARK MILES:テつ Well, it's important for us and exciting for us on lots of levels.テつ
First of all, obviously it's a great thing for the Verizon IndyCar Series to be in a big city, big market in the Northeastern part of the United States.テつ
When you think about particularly our street races, you go from Boston to St. Pete to Long Beach to Detroit to Toronto.テつ We've now really kind of blanketed the country.テつ It's a great part of our circuit, a great style of racing.テつ To be in Boston kind of completes the geography of the strategy in developing the series.テつ
The other thing is this layout.テつ Can't wait for Verizon IndyCar fans to see the place.テつ It is very special.テつ Will and others may talk more about it.テつ But I'm sure it will be competitive racing.テつ
It's in a dynamic area.テつ The South Boston waterfront has experienced huge investment.テつ It is right there surrounded by water.テつ Reminds us of some other great racing venues.テつ It's surrounded by world class hotels, bars, restaurant, all the amenities.テつ
I think Mark Perrone and his team have put it together in a way that will minimize disruptions to the people of Boston.テつ
On so many levels this is really key to us.テつ We're delighted to have an anchor for the Labor Day weekend for the series and looking forward to getting there.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Joining us via phone, Mark Perrone.テつ Mark Miles mentioned a lot of the businesses, the local community that surrounds the South Boston waterfront.テつ You've been working a lot with Mayor Walsh, all the community leaders and businesses there.テつ What is the reception you've received so far?テつ Also, what will you look to accomplish throughout the next year leading up to the race event?テつ
MARK PERRONE:テつ Well, first of all, I wanted to say kind words to Mark Miles and Derrick Walker.テつ We're very, very excited bringing the Verizon IndyCar Series to Boston.テつ We thank them for their involvement and their support and certainly their effort.テつ That's the first thing I'd like to say.テつ
The second thing, with our circuit here, we've had an overwhelmingly positive response.テつ The social pages have been blowing up today with all positive comments.テつ We have had great support in the city, city agencies, the community.テつ
We've been very careful to engage the community and businesses.テつ We've had just absolutely terrific support.テつ Very excited.テつ We will continue to reach out throughout next year to make sure that we have the appropriate feedback and comments from the community, both business and residential.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Derrick, you've been working a lot on the operations side of the track layout, the racing aspects of racing in Boston.テつ What can you tell us about what we can expect, an overview of the track itself?テつ
DERRICK WALKER:テつ Yes, indeed.テつ Certainly I want to first compliment Mark Perrone and his team and the mayor, the local administration there, who embraced this concept right from the beginning.テつ That made the planning of this race, the ability to actually do the next street race, learning from previous street races, what was going to make it work, how good was it going to be.テつ
I think you're going to see a track, a 2.2 mile track that's got probably, and Will can tell you better than I, but I think you're going to see a lot of passing opportunities.テつ There's at least six places where I think you can see passing there.テつ
There's been nothing holding back making the track what it needs to be to give a good street race.テつ You have to look at it and say, This is a perfect place for a race.テつ
The hospitality we've received every time we go up there, we have to keep telling everyone we're going up there not just for the food, but we go up there because there's a lot of great ideas waiting for IndyCar to come.テつ We're real pleased.テつ I think you're going to see some great racing there.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Will Power joining us.テつ You've gotten a chance to look at the track.テつ You've received a bit of a briefing, probably one of the first drivers that has received a detailed briefing.テつ What are your thoughts from a driver's perspective on what the track holds for the next season?テつ
WILL POWER:テつ Yeah, just looking at it, it looks like a very well laid-out track for passing.テつ That's what's important for a street course.テつ
I think street course racing is really awesome.テつ It brings the racing to the people.テつ Just the fact that you're racing these super fast cars with a lot of horsepower around the streets, I think people are going to love it.テつ
To have a race there on the East Coast I think is very important for the series.テつ I think the city is right behind it.テつ They're talking about repaving it and all that.テつ I think when you get that sort of support behind it, it's always a successful event.テつ
As a driver, I love going to new street courses because I usually win when I get to the first one (laughter).テつ I don't want to jinx myself.テつ
DERRICK WALKER:テつ You have already.テつ
WILL POWER:テつ But I love street course racing.テつ I think it's a great concept and it's a lot of fun.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ We'll go ahead and open it up for questions.テつ

Q.テつ Mark Perrone, how long was this race in the planning?テつ Was there any input from drivers concerning track layout?テつ
MARK PERRONE:テつ First of all, we've been probably working on the Northeast market for the better part of three years.テつ With the new administration, Mayor Walsh, they embraced us.テつ Very happy to be able to move this along.テつ
The consultants that designed the track obviously had a great deal of experience in designing tracks.テつ My hat is off to Tony Cotman.テつ Tony spent numerous hours walking the track.テつ He was very careful and knows what makes a successful track.テつ
He also spoke with Derrick Walker many times.テつ I think we have it fixed.テつ

Q.テつ A couple years ago we had what looked like was going to be a great race on Labor Day weekend in Baltimore.テつ That went away.テつ What is going to make the Boston experience so much better than what happened to what could have been a really good anchor race for IndyCar in Baltimore?テつ
MARK MILES:テつ I think the problem was we couldn't know that the race that you're referring to was, in fact, going to be on Labor Day.テつ It was a terrific event in a great city.テつ It was situated essentially around professional baseball and football stadiums.テつ
When it got to the scheduling year by year of those professional sports, as I think everybody knows, we didn't know exactly where we're going to be.テつ
That is entirely different here.テつ Our agreement and the whole plan, in addition to just joining the Verizon IndyCar Series in general from a Boston point of view, Mark Perrone can comment on this, but we've had a lot of conversations with him about his economic development and tourism opportunity.テつ
They think that the Labor Day weekend for Boston is spot on, a great opportunity for them to bring more people into the city and to create a special holiday weekend.テつ
MARK PERRONE:テつ A couple of points.テつ Boston is a destination, we have 23 million visitors a year here to see the history, the sights, visit.テつ Some of the great things we have here is sports.テつ I don't want to brag, but we've won a number of championships here in professional sports.テつ We hope to continue that legacy here with championship racing with the Verizon IndyCar Series.テつ
We have some great opportunity in the market.テつ Boston has I believe the second largest Brazilian population in North America.テつ We have some great drivers from Brazil in the series.テつ The Brazilian community will be really excited to see them compete here on the city streets of Boston.テつ
We also have, as you know, quite a few universities and colleges in the area.テつ The week before our event on Labor Day is move-in weekend.テつ We'll have 160,000 students moving in the weekend before and looking for something to do here in the city of Boston.テつ
Again, we're building an event around the event to attract families, to attract students.テつ There will be a number of offerings, hospitality, children's fun zones, music, entertainment, of course culminating with the marquee event of the Verizon IndyCar Series Grand Prix.テつ

Q.テつ Is the race going to be on Sunday or on Labor Day?テつ
MARK MILES:テつ Sunday.テつ
MARK PERRONE:テつ It will be on Sunday, September 4th.テつ If we have any inclement weather, we have a backup day on Monday, on Labor Day.テつ

Q.テつ Will this be the season-ending race?テつ
MARK MILES:テつ We haven't confirmed that yet.テつ It's Labor Day.テつ We won't announce whether that, in fact, is the finale of the championship until we announce the full season.テつ

Q.テつ Mark, can you confirm whether it's a multi-year deal, single-year deal, or is that still to be determined?テつ
MARK MILES:テつ The agreement goes through 2020.テつ

Q.テつ Mark, you might be the best to answer this.テつ We have a great track layout here.テつ It looks like there's some kind of highway here.テつ Is there a light rail train track system there?テつ Is that a freeway exit that would just be closed off during the race?テつ
MARK PERRONE:テつ Actually Summer Street is what you're talking about.テつ It's a bypass road.テつ There on the far left, on the corner, there are tracks that will be closed.テつ They won't have any effect.テつ We're not going over any light rails.テつ
DERRICK WALKER:テつ There's actually two unique features about this racetrack.テつ One you've seen before, and that is a section of the racetrack goes under the hotel complex there.テつ So it's the sort of mini Monaco feel to it for anybody that has been in Monaco.テつ
The most unique feature, which I don't think I've seen before, which is a Tony Cotman design, I believe, is the pit lane is actually on both sides of the pits.テつ There's pits either side, and there's two lanes down the middle.テつ You can see what's going to happen.テつ Pit stops come in, they emerge, they've got two lanes, and it will blend into one as they go out.テつ I think that's going to add a completely different dimension to pit stops, so that is very unique to this Boston track.テつ
THE MODERATOR:テつ Gentlemen, thank you very much.テつ We appreciate your time.テつ

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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