The 2011 IndyCar series schedule has been announced overnight, and it is a bit of a mixed bag, as our IndyCar correspondent Matt Lennon finds out… 

The great news is the return of the Milwaukee Mile event, which the circuit’s CEO, Randy Bernard, confirmed.

Traditional fans of the series have long been campaigning for more short tracks in the series, such as a return to Phoenix and Las Vegas. While Milwaukee and New Hampshire have been confirmed as returning in 2011, notable absentees include Chicago, Homestead and Watkins Glen. A brand-new race in Baltimore has been confirmed as the final street circuit of the year at this stage. The season finale is yet to be determined however this is likely to be an oval race.

St Petersburg will play host to the 2011 season-opener The 2011 season will consist of six street-circuits, three permanent road-courses and eight ovals. Beginning on March 27, St Petersburg opens the season, closely followed by Barber Motorsports Park two weeks later. The first oval race of the season is also the biggest race of the year, with the 95th Indianapolis 500 taking place on May 29.

Traditionally, Milwaukee follows the Indy 500, however Texas has moved into that position and will hold the previously announced twin-race event on June 11.

One question that comes to mind is why the race at New Hampshire on August 14 in the north-east of the country is followed by Infineon in California, before returning back across the country for the race in Baltimore.

The season wraps up on October 16 and it will be interesting to see which circuit takes the final slot. Hopefully this is announced soon.

The provisional 2011 calendar is as follows:

27/03 St Petersburg 1.8-mile street circuit
10/04 Barber Motorsport Park 2.38-mile road course
17/04 Long Beach 1.97-mile street circuit
01/05 Sao Paulo 2.6-mile street circuit
29/05 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval
11/06 Texas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile oval
19/06 The Milwaukee Mile 1-mile oval
25/06 Iowa Speedway 0.875 mile oval
10/07 Toronto 1.75-mile street circuit
24/07 Edmonton City Airport 1.96-mile airport course
07/08 Mid-Ohio 2.26-mile road course
14/08 New Hampshire Motor Speedway 1.06-mile oval
04/09 Baltimore 2-mile street circuit
18/09 Twin-Ring Motegi, Japan 1.5-mile oval
02/10 Kentucky Speedway 1.5-mile oval
16/10 TBA  

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.