IndyCar Series organisers have revealed a radically overhauled calendar for the 2013 season, unveiling a 19-race schedule that includes three double-header events. The series also returns to Houston and Pocono Raceway.
The new calendar features a more even mix of road, street and oval circuits, with the addition of two events, and the loss of the race at Edmonton Airport.
Three of next year’s events – at the Detroit, Toronto and Houston street circuit rounds – will have races on Saturday and Sunday. These three rounds will also see the introduction of a concept truly foreign to IndyCar fans: the standing start…
Detroit will also revert to the 2.3-mile track layout formerly used between 1998-2001 after this year’s return event was marred by a major track break-up during the race.
Houston’s Reliant Park street circuit layout will host its first open-wheel race since the Champ Car Series last raced there in 2007, while Pennsylvania’s Pocono Raceway has spent even longer on the sidelines – it hasn’t hosted a round of the IndyCar Series since 1989!
The 400-mile race at Pocono will be one of three long-distance oval races – the others being the traditional Indianapolis 500 and the season-ending Fontana 500 – that will form part of the reinstated ‘Triple Crown’. Should a driver win all three races, they will pocket a $1 million bonus; if they win two, then they’ll earn $250,000.
The addition of these extra races means that next year’s season will finish a month later than the now-finished 2012 campaign.
The 2013 IndyCar Series calendar reads as follows:
|24 MAR||Honda Grand Prix of St Petersburg||Streets of St Petersburg, Florida|
|07 APR||Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama||Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama|
|21 APR||Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach||Long Beach, California|
|05 MAY||Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300||Streets of São Paulo, Brazil|
|26 MAY||97th Indianapolis 500||Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana|
|01 JUN||Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix (Race 1)||Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan|
|02 JUN||Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix (Race 2)||Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan|
|08 JUN||Firestone 550||Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas|
|15 JUN||Milwaukee IndyFest||Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, Wisconsin|
|23 JUN||Iowa Corn Indy 250||Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa|
|07 JUL||Pocono 400||Pocono Raceway, Pennsylvania|
|13 JUL||Honda Indy Toronto (Race 1)||Streets of Toronto, Canada|
|14 JUL||Honda Indy Toronto (Race 2)||Streets of Toronto, Canada|
|04 AUG||Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Ohio|
|25 AUG||Go-Pro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma||Sonoma Raceway, California|
|01 SEP||Grand Prix of Baltimore||Streets of Baltimore, Maryland|
|05 OCT||Shell Grand Prix of Houston (Race 1)||Reliant Park, Houston, Texas|
|06 OCT||Shell Grand Prix of Houston (Race 2)||Reliant Park, Houston, Texas|
|19 OCT||American REALTV 500||Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, California|
The calendar could expand further to include a possible street circuit event in the Rhode Island town of Providence – which is reportedly still under negotiations – while rumours continue to swirl that the championship could make a return to its traditional Australian home at Surfers Paradise.