The Champ Car World Series returned to Houston in 2006 after an absence of five years for a floodlit night race.
The Champ Car World Series returned to Houston in 2006 after an absence of five years for a floodlit night race. A new temporary circuit was laid out in the parking lots around Reliant (now NRG) Stadium and the Houston Astrodome. Drivers complained that the track surface was too bumpy and a chicane had to be installed before Turn 2 due to insufficient run-off. The 2007 Grand Prix of Houston was held in daylight and Sébastien Bourdais won for the second successive year but the event was omitted from the amalgamated IndyCar calendar in 2008.
It was revived as part of that championship in October 2013 as a double-header, although a preceding NFL match allowed just four days to prepare. A pronounced bump after Turn 1 launched the cars airborne and proved a car breaker despite overnight work. The weekend’s second race was overshadowed by the last lap accident between Dario Franchitti and Takuma Satō, with the Scot suffering back injuries that led him to retire from racing. The race was scheduled for June 2014 to avoid the NFL season but temperatures proved excessive so it was not repeated.