It's time to order the 747 cargo planes. A first-ever IZOD IndyCar Series race in China will join the international lineup of events for 2012, INDYCAR announced today. The IZOD IndyCar Series will race Aug. 19 on a 3.87-mile street circuit in Qingdao – a Yellow Sea coastal city of 8.7 million between Beijing and Shanghai that played host to the 2008 Summer Olympics Sailing competition.

The race will be contested on a temporary street circuit, with the long-term objective of constructing a permanent racing and entertainment venue. Known for its German and French heritage, Qingdao boasts an almost European atmosphere, with the city often referred to as “China’s Switzerland.” The race weekend will coincide with the popular Qingdao International Beer Festival.

Qingdao, in Shandong Province, is the largest container port in China. The world's longest sea bridge (26.4 miles) opened in June and links the main urban area with the Huangdao district. Tianhou Palace, built in the Ming Dynasty (1467 AD), is the center's most historical structure. With a stage in the front and bell towers and drum towers at both sides, the temple has been developed into the Qingdao Folk Customs Museum.

INDYCAR, through representatives in China, has been in discussions for a few years with governement bureaus about staging a race. China currently plays host to Formula One in mid-April in Shanghai, and for September 2011 added two rounds of the FIA GT1 World Championship in Beijing and Inner Mongolia.

INDYCAR also will sanction 2012 international events in Toronto, São Paulo and Edmonton, Alberta. The 2012 season, which will feature the return of engine manufacturer competition and a new, stylish car, kicks off Sunday, March 25, with the eighth Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, with Pole Day on Saturday, May 19.

photo credit: © 2011
edited text: © 2011