Circuit of the Americas, 2014

Circuit of the Americas replaces Phoenix oval on 2019 IndyCar calendar


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IndyCar has dropped one oval race and replaced it with a new event at the Circuit of the Americas on its 2019 calendar.

The championship also confirmed the season finale will move from Sonoma to Laguna Seca.

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

110th MarchSt PetersburgStreet
224th MarchCircuit of the AmericasRoad
37th AprilBarber Motorsports ParkRoad
414th AprilLong BechStreet
511th MayIndianapolis road courseRoad
626th MayIndianapolis 500Oval
71st JuneDetroit race oneStreet
82nd JuneDetroit race twoStreet
98th JuneTexas Motor SpeedwayOval
1023rd JuneRoad AmericaRoad
1114th JulyTorontoStreet
1220th JulyIowaOval
1328th JulyMid-OhioRoad
1418th AugustPocono RacewayOval
1524th AugustGatewayOval
161st SeptemberPortland International RacewayRoad
1722nd SeptemberLaguna SecaRoad

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Circuit of the Americas replaces Phoenix oval on 2019 IndyCar calendar”

  1. Laguna Seca and COTA! I don’t follow Indycar, but these races will be worth watching.

    1. and it’s possible that Alonso will be racing too… I don’t follow Indycar, but with next year’s changes (new chassis, new tracks, and Alonso) I probably will.

    2. Oh, you should definitely start. This year has been outstanding, especially with the new aero kit. A great deal of the downforce from the top of the car has been removed and the cars are a handful for the drivers. They look a hell of a lot more elegant now too, maybe even more than F1 cars.

      Also, the US really has some tracks that don’t get enough credit for being up there with the best in the world for challenge and excitement. Watkins Glen, Barber, Mid-Ohio, and Road America being favorites. Portland was pretty entertaining this last weekend, and Laguna Seca needs no introduction. The street races are usually pretty exciting too.

      The main thing is, anyone can win. There are teams that do better than others, mostly due to outstanding preparation and execution. But even the small, modest budget teams can put a driver in the winner’s circle.

      1. Spot on with that assessment.

  2. No clashes with WEC, interesting.

    1. @Chaitanya nice catch! haha

    2. I wonder if Alonso coming to Indy has in some way, shape or form influenced this.
      Probably not, but he is immensely popular here and COTA is a good track to showcase his talents.
      I hope it draws a lot of fans along the lines of F1. If not, it will still be interesting to see what the disparity is.
      Glad there will be one less oval..

  3. Well, I’ll be. Indystar seems to confirm they’ll be running COTA in the same configuration. The age old question will finally be answered. I’ll say, 6 seconds off the pace in qualifying mode in favor of F1

    1. I agree. The pseudo mono series (Indycar) will probably be 5-6 seconds slower than the F1 cars in 2019. Let’s remember that the 2019 F1 cars will be a tad slower than this years configuration, mainly due to the front wing limitations.

    2. It will also be somewhat interesting to see how the cost for admission and the attendance will compare with the F1 race.

    3. Why is it an age old question? It’s a completely different series. More fun to watch than f, with better competition. Slower, but who cares? They are not trying to beat f1. Saying that, f1s fastest ever lap is 163mph, while 20 years ago in michigan super oval I dycars were doing 240mph laps. It’s dumb to compare them for fanboy sakes, just enjoy both.

    4. My guess is the gap will be a bit larger—it was around 5 or 6 seconds when Champ Car and F1 raced at Montreal, and F1 is a bit quicker now under the new aero rules, while this year’s Indy cars seem to be pretty similar on pace to the Champ cars. Plus the lap time at COTA is longer. And, I think the Indy cars with their low-downforce configuration will lose out even more to F1 in the first sector. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indy cars are 10 seconds off of F1.

      But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be a much more entertaining race!

      It may be moot though anyway, as COTA are apparently considering altering the track in part to avoid the comparisons.

      1. not sure they will do modify the layout of COTA, because i don’t think Indy is really concerned with competition from F1. Even if they will probably be 5 to 10 seconds off the pace of F1 cars, it doesn’t matter to the Indy audience, as they are in it for the entertainment and not for pure speed and stats. That doesn’t matter one bit for American audience if the races are dull.

        1. i don’t think Indy is really concerned with competition from F1.

          What competition? There is no competition. The true F1 fan has no interest in Indycar, because the typical F1 fan wants to see the pinnacle of motorsport technology applied on track.

          If close races is what you are looking for, if that is what you call competition, go watch Sprint cars and midgets in USAC.

          When F1 cars lap the same circuit several seconds faster than Indycars, people will understand why Indycars is the series where old F1 drivers go to retire, so they can live in Florida, being a member of AARP….

          1. What an arrogant, misinformed response. Get out of here with that “true F1 fan” nonsense. Quit acting like such a snob and actually watch some other motorsports. Maybe you’ll gain an appreciation for them instead of turning up your nose because we call F1 the pinnacle of motorsport.

          2. The “true F1 fan” is a fickle, whiny, noisy complainant, who according to Bernie, is more interested in Rolexes than playstations, and longs for the good old days of V12 behemoths being piloted by temperamental drivers who are more interested in winning than worrying about trivial things like their (or anyone else’s) lives.

            At least, that’s the impression I get reading forum posts. :)

            On average, I’ve seen closer, more exciting racing, in IndyCar in the last 5 years than I have in F1. Every now and then you get a stonking spectacular race like Monza this past weekend, but usually, it’s like Belgium the week before– The race was over by the end of Q3.

            As for F1 vs. Indy, F1 has more horsepower and downforce, but the IndyCars are a bit lighter, with less fuel and less drag.

  4. Until 2003 the series only raced on ovals.

    The IRL first started running road circuits in 2005 when they held races at St.Pete, Sonoma & Watkins Glen. They were still all ovals in 2003.

    Disappointed about losing Pheonix though, Has always been one of my favorite ovals although I do feel the changes they made a couple years ago (Which were aimed primarily at Nascar) kinda ruined the place a bit. The higher banking & more open corners may be good for Nascar but they took away a chunk of the challenge of the place for the Indycar’s.

    It’s a shame they can’t bring back Nazareth Speedway, That was a great short oval for Indycar’s & it’s a shame it’s been allowed to fall into the state it’s been in since the last race they held there. I saw last year that it may be turned into a housing complex :(

    1. I agree. It’s a shame that the racing at Phoenix wasn’t particularly good over any of the years. The speeds there were really quick – I think the cars outgrew the track in it’s new configuration.

      1. @georgeod The racing on the older configuration always tended to be pretty good as it was more of a drivers circuit. Turns 1/2 were narrower, Tighter & had a bit less banking so drivers actually had to lift/brake & downshift & it was similar at turns 3/4.

        For as much as I have always loved the bigger Super Speedways like Indy, Michigan, Pocono, Fontana etc… because of the speed, closeness of the racing & all that, I often found that the racing on the shorter ovals was more interesting. It tended to be more tactical & varied, Especially when you had bigger grids with bigger differences between team/driver performance which made getting through the traffic a true art.

        One of the best Indycar oval races i’ve ever seen is the 1993 race from New Hampshire. Highlights a lot of what makes Indycar short oval racing is so good.

  5. Makes me even more sad that I can’t afford to get whatever BT Sport channel I’d need for Indycar coverage.

    Obviously they’re not going to be as quick, but it’d be interesting to see how another top-level series deals with the circuit… any difference in lines, overtaking spots, how close they can follow, and so on.

    1. I am lucky enough to have a sky subscription but not elitist enough to afford the sky f1 package for f1 or bt sport for IndyCar. I propose a new movement called occupy Carey, people like us will sit on Chase Carey’s Moustache until our demands of f1 on free to air tv are met.

      If the occupy Carey movement doesn’t work it looks like my motorsport viewing career will be only WEC as of next year.

  6. Mark in Florida
    4th September 2018, 21:58

    Indy Car is more concerned with competition than absolute speed. They want the cars to be fast hense the newer turbocharged motors. But they need the cars to be able to compete with each other fairly. Indy is a driver competition not a car competition. Having said that certain teams do prepare their cars better than others, they do their setups better so within the rules they come up with a better car. Teams like Penske, Andretti readily come to mind. Indy is worth watching for anyone who enjoys true competition.

  7. Coming to their senses

    1. If Indycar didn’t have poor attendance at Phoenix as well as mediocre racing dynamics (post 2010 track repave), it would still be on the schedule.

  8. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
    5th September 2018, 6:12

    Is there, somewhere, an overview or instruction on how to watch the IndyCar season from several countries?

    I watched some full races on YouTube a ew years ago (not live, but that would have been night work for me anyway). Was wondering whether it was IndyCar policy to post full races on YouTube, or whether I accidentally relied on illegal services there.

    I do remember from those years that I found most of these races unnecessarily long. Almost like a bycicle race, where 80% is the buildup towards the finale, where every driver just needs to get through without incidents or other problems.

    1. Indycar posts all races online delayed for about a week, maybe, on their youtube, if you don’t mind not watching live. (Personally, I just can’t watch any motorsports delayed, but that’s just me)

      They have a media partner, who I remember listing the various outlets sometimes, but I haven’t (and won’t) go there since they misinterpreted GDPR and disabled all their social interaction (ie. their comment section) for those coming in from the EU. Actually it might’ve been us international fans who collated such list in come to think of it. But anyway, not to be presumptuous, but by your comment I’m guessing you DO know how the internet works, right….right ?

  9. Probably worth clarifying the line ‘Until 2003 the series only raced on ovals.’. The ‘current sanctioning body’ started in 1996 and ran the oval-only Indy Racing League.
    But before 1996, Indycars raced on road circuits as well as ovals.
    And from 1996 until the early-to-mid 2000s, CART/Champ Car was effectively the ‘proper’ Indycar championship (it just didn’t have the rights to the name ‘Indycar’).

  10. Well, IndyCar. April 28th hasn’t been filled. Why not have a race at Hermanos Rodriguez?

  11. I really like to see Montreal as well. I enjoyed the glory days of Champ Car that where held.

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