Grosjean Set for Oval Debut; News and Notes

A few noteworthy items as we head into the weekend at Detroit.

Romain Grosjean will run his first oval race at Gateway in August. Grosjean originally planned to run only the street and road course races, but had left Gateway open as a possibility. The run at the Madison, Illinois track may be a prelude for Grosjean to attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 next year.

Grosjean earned the pole for the GMR Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway last month, finishing second in the race after leading the most laps

Mid Ohio Paddock Passes on Sale

Mid Ohio will allow fans paddock access at the Honda Indy 200. The announcement yesterday said that paddock and pit passes are now on sale. Mid Ohio joins Detroit and Road America as tracks allowing fans paddock access as things slowly return to normal.

Detroit Unmasked

The Chevrolet Grand Prix of Detroit now has no mask requirement for fans while outdoors. Inside buildings, masks are required for unvaccinated people. The race initially had attendance limited to 20% of capacity, but that restriction is also no longer in effect. Race organizers have opened up more reserved grandstand seating, but they are still limiting the number of general admission tickets sold.

We may be seeing the end of fan restrictions as the series moves ionto the second half of the season.

Who Gets Race 17?

There are three options to replace the cancelled Toronto race- a double header at Mid Ohio, a double header at Gateway, or no replacement at all.

Mid Ohio makes the most sense since the track and Toronto have the same promoter, Green Savoree. Gateway is a good choice since that would give the series another oval race. Doing nothing might be what happens if a television window is not available for the additional race.

I think there will be a 17th race. Time is not on Mid Ohio’s side, but since the track hosted a double header on short notice last year, it could still happen.