The IndyCar race in China on Aug. 19 was officially canceled Wednesday, and series CEO Randy Bernard must find another event for the second half of the season.
Bernard had been working with promoters in Qingdao the last several months to salvage the race, which was announced last November to run at the same time as the International Beer Festival. The inaugural race would have been held on a temporary 3.87-mile street circuit in the city that hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics sailing competition.
Despite an existing contract, new leadership in local government balked at the IndyCar race. Discussions began with IndyCar about moving the event to a new date or new location.
When faced with a deadline, Bernard said Wednesday event promoters canceled the race.
"The new Mayor took office on March 28, and it was his opinion that it shouldn't be run at the same time as the beer festival," Bernard told The Associated Press. "Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time at that point to reschedule or find a new location. We evaluated several different options and it was finally in the promoters' best interest to cancel the event."
Bernard said IndyCar is evaluating what it can recoup from the existing contract.
As for what Bernard will do to fill the hole in the IndyCar schedule, he said he's looking at several different options.
"I don't think we need a decision right this minute," he said. "When we do it, we need to do it right and make sure it's the best fit for the series and the schedule and the championship race."