The IndyCar Series in DIRECTV HD today announced its 2009 schedule featuring 18 races, including two new destinations, bookend dates for the state of Florida marking changes to the season-opening and closing venues, and expanding the season-long championship by a month.
In its continuing effort to offer competitors one of the most diverse challenges in all of motorsports, the 2009 schedule features 10 oval races, three permanent road courses and five temporary circuits and includes all but one venue that hosted the IndyCar Series in 2008.
Highlighting the 2009 IndyCar Series schedule:
The season opener will be run through the streets of St. Petersburg , Fla. , on April 5.
The season-finale moves to Homestead-Miami Speedway and will be run on Oct. 11 with the speedway and series developing a championship weekend celebration, extending the IndyCar Series season a month longer than the previous two seasons.
The Grand Prix of Long Beach will be run on April 19, marking the IndyCar Series’ debut at the 35-year-old event that has hosted F1, CART and Champ Car races as its premier event.
The IndyCar Series will debut in Toronto on July 12. The Indy Toronto, which dates to 1986, will be the first of back-to-back temporary course events in Canada with Edmonton scheduled for July 26.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will shift from July to Aug. 9, allowing the series to break up what was six consecutive weeks of racing in 2008. With this date change, the Kentucky Speedway event will move one week earlier to Aug. 1.
The Raceway at Belle Isle Park and Chicagoland Speedway are exchanging weekends, with Chicagoland running on Saturday evening Aug. 29 and the temporary street event in Detroit running Sept. 6.
The Indy Japan 300 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan is shifting to Sept. 19 after running in April since 2003.
The IndyCar Series will be a part of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Centennial Celebration with the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race scheduled for May 24.
The IndyCar Series will return to Kansas Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile, Texas Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway , Richmond International Raceway, Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway at approximately the same time on the calendar as 2008.
“We are thrilled with the schedule we have developed for 2009,” said Terry Angstadt, the president of the commercial division for the Indy Racing League, the sanctioning body for the IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights. “When unification was announced earlier this year, we talked about the opportunity of developing future schedules on a blank piece of paper, and with today’s announcement we have a solid foundation for developing a consistent, long-term schedule for the IndyCar Series.”
Next season’s schedule will feature four Saturday prime-time events, and unlike the previous two seasons the 2009 schedule affords a couple more in-season off-weekends for drivers and teams.
“Looking ahead to 2009, and with one season of unification under our belts, we know that the IndyCar Series continues to offer the most diverse schedule in all of motorsports,” said Brian Barnhart, president of the competition and operations division for the Indy Racing League.
“As our schedule has evolved in the past few years, the race for the IndyCar Series championship has become one that demands the ability of both drivers and teams to master a variety of venues and the challenges each one brings with the end result being a true champion.
We are also pleased to respond to our teams and offer a couple of more off-weekends during the core of the season.” , concluded Barnhart.
The complete 2009 IndyCar Series schedule:
Date – Location - Venue Length & Type
Sunday, April 5 - Streets of St. Petersburg - 1.8-mile street course
Sunday, April 19 - Streets of Long Beach -1.968-mile street course
Sunday, April 26 - Kansas Speedway - 1.5-mile oval
Sunday, May 24 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway - 2.5-mile oval
Sunday, May 31 - The Milwaukee Mile - 1.0-mile oval
Saturday, June 6* - Texas Motor Speedway - 1.5-mile oval
Sunday, June 21 - Iowa Speedway - .875-mile oval
Saturday, June 27* - Richmond International Raceway - .75-mile oval
Sunday, July 5 - Watkins Glen International - 3.4-mile road course
Sunday, July 12 - Streets of Toronto - 1.721-mile street course
Sunday, July 26 - Edmonton City Centre Airport - 1.973-mile airport course
Saturday, August 1* - Kentucky Speedway - 1.5-mile oval
Sunday, August 9 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - 2.258-mile road course
Sunday, August 23 - Infineon Raceway - 2.245-mile road course
Saturday, August 29* - Chicagoland Speedway - 1.5-mile oval
Sunday, September 6 - The Raceway at Belle Isle Park - 2.906-mile street course
Saturday, September 19 - Twin Ring Motegi - 1.5-mile oval
Sunday, October 11 - Homestead-Miami Speedway - 1.5-mile oval
(*) Denotes Night race
Schedule Subject to Change
(ht: Pacific Coast Motorsports)
... notes from The EDJE