Andretti Autosport has announced that it will be fielding a team in Mexico’s Super Copa Championship, and team owner Michael Andretti believes this could lead to IndyCar running a race in Mexico in the future.
The newly formed Andretti Jourdain Autosport team will be based in Mexico and will run in the championship’s Touring Car division for 2021.
Andretti’s main focus will remain on IndyCar, but his iconic team has branched out in recent years to include partnerships in other categories including Formula E and Australian Supercars.
During the announcement, the legendary driver turned team owner explained that his team’s expansion into a Mexican national series could help make connections that would allow Mexico City to host an IndyCar race in the future.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get in another market, which we think is a very important racing market,” said Andretti, Chairman & CEO of Andretti Autosport.
“Mexico has got many, many great racing fans. I think it’d be very important for IndyCar to try to get back into Mexico. I think having Pato [O’Ward] here and being competitive is hopefully going to help as well.
“Having us down there with a very popular Mexican series, I don’t think that’s going to hurt either. It could be a step closer to having that race in Mexico City.”
IndyCar is no stranger to running in countries outside the United States. The series has regularly visited Canada for a race in Toronto, Canada, and raced on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil as recently as 2013.
CART, which was a separate series from the IRL at the time, raced in Mexico City around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez from 2002 to 2007. The circuit has since been upgraded and has hosted Formula 1’s Mexican Grand Prix since 2015.
The country’s excitable fans have proudly supported their fellow countryman Sergio Perez throughout his time in F1, and Arrow McLaren SP’s Pato O’Ward would surely bring a lot of attention at a race in his home country if it were to go ahead.
IndyCar officials heavily researched the idea of running a race in Mexico City for the 2018 season, but talks fell through in November 2017 and an agreement was never reached.
There has not been any official progress towards getting the race added to the calendar since then.