Our own Matt Stallknecht is reporting that there is a big announcement scheduled for Thursday in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. City officials, along with GP3R CEO Dominic Fugere will announce the addition of the NASCAR Nationwide Series to the city’s annual GP3R Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres. The race will be held on the Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, a 1.521 mile street course. It will be the first-ever street course race for the Nationwide Series.
Last year, IndyCar’s Firestone Indy Lights and NASCAR’s Canadian Tire Series were the co-headliners in Trois-Rivieres. However, Firestone Indy Lights continues to suffer from low car count. Only 11 cars contested the Trois-Rivieres round last year after 13 did in 2010. According to “La Presse”:http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lapresse.ca%2Fle-nouvelliste%2Fcourse-automobile%2F201210%2F18%2F01-4584719-grand-prix-de-trois-rivieres-la-serie-indy-lights-ne-reviendra-pas.php%3Futm_categorieinterne%3Dtrafficdrivers%26utm_contenuinterne%3Dcyberpresse_B4__2501_section_POS1&act=url, IndyCar was forced to make payments to Trois-Rivieres’ organizers for failing to meet the minimum car count of the 17 in their contract the past two years. As a result, Trois-Rivieres announced that Firestone Indy Lights would not be on the schedule for 2013, despite the series being under contract to race at Trois-Rivieres next year.
Ever since the announcement was made that the Nationwide Series would not return to Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve for 2013, NASCAR has been trying to find a replacement Canadian venue. Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly Mosport International Raceway) was considered to be a likely target, but the track was unable to meet NASCAR’s standards. The race will be held the weekend of August 16-18, 2013, the same weekend that the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was held this year. The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, which supported the Nationwide Series in Montreal, would likely remain on the weekend schedule as a support series, along with other regional series.