The IndyCar series will return to Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway for a night race in 2012, series bosses announced yesterday.
The two-mile oval circuit was a regular IndyCar event between 2002 to 2005 – as well as being on the CART championship between 1997 and 2002 – before it was dropped from the calendar.
The D-shaped California circuit was the venue for the world speed record for the fastest lap on a closed course circuit, when Gil de Ferran lapped the circuit at an astonishing 241mph in qualifying in the year 2000.
“We feel the time is right to bring IndyCar racing back to Auto Club Speedway,” IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard said in the announcement.
“We want to maintain the diverse line-up of ovals on our schedule and the addition of Auto Club Speedway adds a great venue that was built for the high-speed, wheel-to-wheel excitement of IndyCar racing under the lights.
“We look forward to building on the area’s history and tradition of open-wheel racing with new records and new races beginning in 2012.”
A final date for the Fontana event next year has not been announced.
There is also speculation that the series will see a return to the iconic Road America and Laguna Seca Circuit road courses. An announcement on these additions is expected soon.
[Image via IndyCar]