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Council Votes to Retain Edmonton Race

The City of Edmonton will negotiate a contract with Octane Racing Group that will retain the IZOD IndyCar Series race weekend for at least three years.

City Council voted in a special session July 21 to accept Octane Racing Group’s proposal to operate the Edmonton Indy beginning in 2011, paving the way for the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights to continue to compete on the City Centre Airport track.

"When you look at what we get from it, it's $18 million just on the (national) media coverage," Mayor Stephen Mandel said after the meeting. "That stuff is invaluable."

The Honda Indy Edmonton this weekend features both series.

“We are excited with the results of city council vote,” the sanctioning Indy Racing League said in a statement. “The course at Edmonton City Centre Airport continues to produce outstanding races. We look forward to continuing the tradition of Indy car racing in Edmonton as well as a very successful event this Sunday.”

Graham Rahal practices for the 2009 Edmonton Indy. Photo by IMS Photo

The Indy Racing League, City of Edmonton and Octane Racing Group will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. (local time) Sunday at the track to discuss future plans for the race.

“Octane Racing Group wishes to thank Mayor Stephen Mandel and the City of Edmonton council members for their confidence and their agreement with our proposal to act as new promoter of the Edmonton Indy,” the Montreal-based group said in a statement. “We are extremely proud and also excited by the perspective of sharing in the near future, this great event with all Edmontonians and all Western Canada racing fans.”

Will Power and Scott Dixon, the past two winners of the IZOD IndyCar Series race on the 1.973-mile, 14-turn circuit, headline a 25-car lineup for the 95-lap race.

Organizers’ sponsorship goals for this weekend's event have been surpassed. This week, Konica Business Solutions (Canada) Ltd. and West Edmonton Mall came on board to complement other local and national sponsors.

“Our sponsorship efforts for the 2010 Honda Indy Edmonton have been very successful,” said Ken Knowles, president of Northlands. “Corporate sponsorship and hospitality suite sales have been solid to date, and there are still terrific opportunities available for the business community to be part of this world-class event.”

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