Two new races and the 99th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race highlight the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule announced today.
The 17-race campaign begins Sunday, March 8, on the Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet road course in the Brazil capital of Brasilia and concludes Sunday, Aug. 30, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., which will mark the first time since Mexico City in 2007 that an Indy car champion will be crowned at a road course. Both races will be televised by NBCSN.
The Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kicks off the North American schedule for the fifth year in a row on Sunday, March 29. “The World’s Fastest Spring Break Party” on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg (Fla.) street circuit will mark the debut of aerodynamic body kits supplied by Chevrolet and Honda to their respective teams. ABC will televise the race at 3 p.m. (ET).
The most diverse schedule in motorsports includes events on technically challenging road and street courses, short ovals and superspeedways that is sure to deliver another exciting year of competition. In 2014, Will Power of Team Penske earned his first Verizon IndyCar Series championship in a season that featured a record-tying 11 different race winners. The Verizon IndyCar Series champion has been determined in the final race the past nine seasons.
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ABC will telecast six events, including both days of Indianapolis 500 qualifications and the 500 Mile Race, while NBCSN will telecast 13 events. All races will be broadcast by the IMS Radio Network through its affiliates, including SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the INDYCAR 15 app and www.indycar.com.
“The Verizon IndyCar Series calendar represents another step forward in our strategy to grow the series,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Co., the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “There were several factors that led to the positive momentum we experienced in 2014 and we will continue to execute on those initiatives – continuity in our broadcast schedule, strategic growth of our schedule and improvements to how we promote our events. The continued support from our television partners at ABC and NBCSN, and the ongoing collaboration with promoters, teams and sponsor partners gives us a lot of confidence about our future.”
The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on Sunday, April 12 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN) at NOLA Motorsports Park near New Orleans is the other new venue on the schedule followed by the 41st Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 19, NBCSN) and a return to scenic Barber Motorsports Park (April 26, NBCSN).
The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will kick off with the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis (May 9, ABC) and will be followed by Indy 500 qualifications (May16-17, ABC). NBCSN will telecast Carb Day activities May 22 that include the final practice session and the Freedom 100 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race. The month culminates May 24 with the Indianapolis 500.
The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix returns as a doubleheader event (May 30-31, ABC) and is followed by the night race at Texas Motor Speedway (June 6, NBCSN). The race on streets of Toronto has moved (June 14, NBCSN) to accommodate the Pan American Games, and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Aug. 2, NBCSN) retains its familiar date.
Pocono Raceway moves from early July to be the lead-in race (Aug. 23, NBCSN) to the championship finale and part of a four-race oval swing at Auto Club Speedway (June 27, NBCSN), the Milwaukee Mile (July 12, NBCSN) and Iowa Speedway (July 18, NBCSN).
“Returning to Pocono in 2015 is great news,” said Tony Kanaan, 2004 Verizon IndyCar Series champion who won the 2014 season finale at Auto Club Speedway. “The ‘Tricky Triangle’ is a very challenging racetrack for us and it provides great racing and excitement for the fans. Continuity is the key word to rebuild our fan base for that region and INDYCAR and Pocono are working very hard and thankfully making it happen. I’m obviously happy to be able to return in 2015 and finish the strong race we had in 2014.”
Click to download the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Printable Schedule