IndyCar has dropped one oval race and replaced it with a new event at the Circuit of the Americas on its 2019 calendar.
For the ninth year in a row the season will begin on the St Petersburg road course in Florida. However the Phoenix oval, which returned to the championship three years ago and held this year’s second oval, has been dropped in favour of a race at COTA.
The championship has previously been unable to race at the road circuit outside the Texan capital Austin due to its agreement with the Texas Motor Speedway oval. However the series agreed new terms with the venue when it extended its contract last month, opening up the possibility for it to race at other circuits in the region.
It will be the first time IndyCar, under its current sanctioning body, has raced on a circuit in the same year as F1. Until 2003 the series only raced on ovals.
The last time a top American single-seater series shared a track with F1 in the same year was when Sebastien Bourdais won the Champ Car Grand Prix of Montreal at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2006.
The changes reduces the number of oval circuits on the 17-race calendar from six to five. They include the Pocono superspeedway where Robert Wickens was badly injured in a crash last month.
The third round of the championship will take place at Barber Motorsports Park, where Fernando Alonso is due to participate in a closed test tomorrow as he considers a switch to the championship next year.
2019 IndyCar calendar
|1||10th March||St Petersburg||Street|
|2||24th March||Circuit of the Americas||Road|
|3||7th April||Barber Motorsports Park||Road|
|4||14th April||Long Bech||Street|
|5||11th May||Indianapolis road course||Road|
|6||26th May||Indianapolis 500||Oval|
|7||1st June||Detroit race one||Street|
|8||2nd June||Detroit race two||Street|
|9||8th June||Texas Motor Speedway||Oval|
|10||23rd June||Road America||Road|
|14||18th August||Pocono Raceway||Oval|
|16||1st September||Portland International Raceway||Road|
|17||22nd September||Laguna Seca||Road|
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