Austin added to IndyCar schedule as 2019 calendar revealed

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The Austin Formula 1 venue has been added to a 17-race IndyCar calendar for 2019.

The long-rumoured move gathered pace once IndyCar signed a new deal with Texas Motor Speedway that ended the track’s ‘radius’ clause, which had previously prevented a nearby race taking place.

Last week, Austin’s local government released documents confirming that Circuit of the Americas owners were seeking funds for an IndyCar race to be held from 2019-23.

Austin will be the second-longest circuit on the calendar after Road America and will host the second race of the season, which will take place on March 24.

“COTA is one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world and Austin is a happening city. This a natural fit for the IndyCar Series,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Hulman & Co, IndyCar’s parent company.

“Indycar racing has a large and passionate fan base in Texas with a hunger to attend more races.

“This added date will allow us to deliver both oval and road course events to the state in a single season.”

Founder and chairman of Circuit of the Americas Bobby Epstein added: “From year one, the fans have been asking to see IndyCar at COTA.

“It’s going to be spectacular. Our entire team at COTA is excited to welcome the teams, drivers and visitors to our great city, and we know Austin will give them a warm welcome.”

Austin is one of two new venues added to the calendar for 2019, with Laguna Seca joining as the series finale in place of Sonoma after a 15-year absence.

New 2018 addition Portland has been retained after a well-attended race last weekend and the IndyCar calendar has made only two minor changes to its existing races.

The third race of the season at Barber Motorsports Park has been brought forward two weeks to April 7, while Iowa will switch to a Saturday night race by popular demand on July 20.

“IndyCar has worked to deliver a consistency and cadence to the schedule and that is reflected again in 2019,” said Miles.

“We’ve added races at a pair of tracks that know how to put on fantastic events while returning to tracks where IndyCar has longstanding relationships on familiar race dates.

“The diversity of next year’s schedule will continue to make what we believe is the most challenging and competitive championship in motorsports.”

The Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 26 ahead of the traditional Detroit double-header the following weekend, while the Texas round will run a week after that.

Two further triple-headers are also planned, with Toronto, Iowa and Mid-Ohio running back-to-back, as well as Pocono, Gateway and Portland later in the season.

The IndyCar calendar’s confirmation outlines seven road course races, five on street courses and a total of five ovals.

IndyCar’s Phoenix round was dropped from the schedule for 2019 after poor attendances this year.

2019 IndyCar calendar

March 10 St Petersburg
March 24 Austin
April 7 Barber Motorsports Park
April 14 Long Beach
May 11 Indianapolis road course
May 26 Indianapolis 500
June 1-2 Detroit
June 8 Texas
June 23 Road America
July 14 Toronto
July 20 Iowa
July 28 Mid-Ohio
August 18 Pocono
August 24 Gateway
September 1 Portland
September 22 Laguna Seca

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