INDYCAR fans worldwide love talking about the series and its talented drivers and teams, discussing anything from current performance to fun “what ifs?”
The writers at INDYCAR.com are no different.
With that in mind, it’s time to continue a new roundtable discussion for INDYCAR.com. The three panelists have different perspectives but share a passion for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and its events. They’ll discuss and analyze topics throughout the year, hopefully stimulating thought and conversation for readers and maybe a few laughs.
Curt Cavin has worked every Indianapolis 500 since 1988 and covered each of the Formula One and MotoGP events, plus the first 23 NASCAR events, held at the iconic track during his reporting days at The Indianapolis Star.
Paul Kelly’s motorsports experience is even more diverse, having worked in editorial and public relations in Indy cars, sports cars and drag racing since 1993. He also covered NASCAR, short-track and motorcycle racing as a newspaper reporter in upstate New York in the late 80s and early 90s and is the Speedway’s resident MotoGP and Isle of Man TT freak.
Zach Horrall is clearly the newbie of this group, but his love for the sport is deeply rooted, growing from a childhood passion to a reporting job in college at The Indianapolis Star, covering the Indianapolis 500, NASCAR and drag racing before joining IMS in 2019.
Today’s question: On which North American street or road course where the INDYCAR SERIES used to race would you like to see the series return, and why?
Zach Horrall: I have always been a sucker for Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal. For starters, sitting on the Ile Notre-Dame and surrounded by water, it’s easy on the eye. And it features two of my favorite sets of corners in all of motorsports. I loved watching a heard of CART drivers (2002-06) take the green flag and rush into Turn 1, which first sweeps to the right, but then turns to the left into a tight switch-back into Turn 2. Then, as the drivers get back around the track, fans are in for another treat as the long, high-speed front straightaway is broken up by a tight kink just before the start finish line. I can’t imagine barreling towards Turns 13 and 14, trying to figure out how I’m going to make it through this set of short, 90-degree corners. Wow! See for yourself - I just recently watched this INDYCAR Classic Rewind of the 2005 Molson Indy Montreal.
Curt Cavin: I’m with Zach on Montreal. The circuit is gorgeous, and most important, INDYCAR needs another Canadian race. I wish Edmonton or Vancouver were in play, but I don’t believe they are for various reasons. If we’re looking in the U.S., I hope we haven’t seen the last of Circuit of The Americas. Obviously, it’s a world-class facility, and the 2019 race was exceptional. And then there’s Cleveland. Nearly everyone who saw races there would love to have it back.
Paul Kelly: Yes, I also love Montreal as a city and a circuit. But I’ll play the contrarian this week (what else is new?). My answer consists of two words: Watkins. Glen. Why Watkins Glen? Well, I’m a native of Syracuse, New York, so it’s my home track. The Glen is less than two hours from where I grew up. Two, the Finger Lakes of upstate New York are a beautiful area, with long lakes nestled in deep valleys carved millions of years ago by glaciers. I’m lucky enough to have been in Race Control for an event at the Glen, and I’ll put the sight of Seneca Lake and the surrounding hills dotted with pastoral farmland up against the vista from any North American racetrack. The Glen also has such a rich history of open-wheel competition, whether INDYCAR or Formula One. Finally, the Glen is an incredible circuit, with so much challenge for drivers with its iconic sections. The Ninety, the Esses, the Bus Stop, the Boot. Indy cars – hell, all race cars – are ideal at the Glen.