The 2013 IndyCar schedule has been revealed:
1. 24th March – St Petersburg (Street)
2. 7th April – Barber Motorsport Park (Road)
3. 21st April – Long Beach (Street)
4. 5th May – Sao Paulo (Street)
5. 26th May – Indianapolis 500 (Oval)
6. 1st June – Detroit (Street)
7. 2nd June – Detroit (Street)
8. 8th June – Texas (Oval, night race)
9. 15th June – Milwaukee (Oval)
10. 22nd June – Iowa (Oval)
11. 7th July – Pocono (Oval)
12. 13th July – Toronto (Street)
13. 14th July – Toronto (Street)
14. 4th August – Mid-Ohio (Road)
15. 25th August – Sonoma (Road)
16. 1st September – Baltimore (Street)
17. 5th October – Houston (Street)
18. 6th October – Houston (Street)
19. 19th October – Auto Club Speedway (Oval)
Compared to last year’s 15-race (after the deletion of China) schedule which ended in September, a 19-race calendar which stretches into October is definitely an improvement.
It’s good to see another oval race with Pocono returning to the schedule for the first time since 1989. This will be a 400-mile race, while Indianapolis and Fontana (Auto Club) remain 500-miles.
I have mixed feelings about the schedule being bulked up with three double-headers, all of them on street circuits. I can see the appeal in terms of extending the calendar and giving the race organisers more bang for their buck. But I I don’t like how it ends up tilting the balance further away from oval races.
Details of how qualifying will work at the double-headers will be revealed later.
Edmonton has gone from the calendar, which is a bit of a shame because I’d heard good things about that event, but it wasn’t a very good venue in terms of racing.
A new race at Reliant Park in Houston will use the same 2.7km (1.6-mile) circuit Champ Car did in 2006 and 2007 (video of the last race below). It’s a compact layout which should make for lots of traffic and an interesting race.
But it’s a long wait until the action begins again in late March next year and it’s disappointing to learn some IndyCar teams have temporarily laid of staff in the meantime.