DETROIT (November 17, 1999) - The series' first off-shore race at the new Aruba Motorsports Complex, a return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and a season-opening event at a familiar venue are among the highlights of the 2000 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship schedule that was announced today by Championship Auto Racing Teams and Indy Lights officials.
The final step on the ladder leading to CART's Champ Car series, the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship will feature a mix of five oval track events and seven races on street and road courses in its 15th season of competition.
The PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship also joins the FedEx Championship Series as the only open-wheel motorsports series in the world to conduct events on four different types of racing circuits: short ovals, street circuits, superspeedways and permanent road courses.
A schedule of 12 races will be run for the second consecutive season, but significant changes have been made on both ends of the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship calendar.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has included an Indy Lights race since 1989, but next year will be the first time since 1991 that the California street circuit event will host the opening round of the championship when the season begins there on April 16. Eight months later, the championship concludes on the new permanent road course in Aruba on Dec. 3. The Aruba event will be the first Indy Lights race beyond North American borders and marks the series' first stand-alone feature event since a race in Savannah, Ga. in May of 1997.
Indy Lights also returns to Mid-Ohio for the first time since 1994 when the scenic, Central Ohio permanent road course hosts Round Seven on Aug. 13. Return engagements are also scheduled for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the oval at Gateway International Raceway after one-year absences at both venues.
Following the Long Beach opener, the Indy Lights championship makes its annual stop at the Milwaukee Mile on June 4. Two weeks later, the series makes its first of two visits to Michigan on June 18 for the Detroit News Challenge at The Raceway On Belle Isle in Detroit. The Motown street circuit run will be immediately followed by the year's first permanent road course race June 25 at Portland International Raceway in Oregon.
July features a pair of oval track events. Indy Lights returns to the high banks of Michigan Speedway for The Detroit News 100 on July 22 - the year's only Saturday race - followed by the series' second race at Chicago Motor Speedway in Cicero, Ill., July 30.
After the Mid-Ohio race, the series makes its third trip to the West Coast for the traditional back-to-back weekends of road racing in Vancouver, Sept. 3 and Laguna Seca Raceway, Sept. 10.
Although Indy Lights did not compete at Vancouver last year, the series has been part of the popular Canadian street circuit event on eight previous occasions.
Gateway, which hosted Indy Lights races in 1997 and 1998, immediately follows the Vancouver and Laguna Seca stretch on Sept. 17.
The year's second and final superspeedway race will be run at California Speedway, Oct. 29. Series competitors then have just less than one month to prepare for the trip to the inaugural Aruba event. The exotic island - which is less than 30 miles off the Northern coast of Venezuela - will also play host to the season-ending banquet that will be held the evening after the race at a location to be determined. Television information for the 2000 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be announced at a later date.
PPG-DAYTON INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONSHIP 2000 RACE SCHEDULE
Date Race/Venue/Location April 16 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Road Course Long Beach, California 1.59 Miles
June 4 Miller Lite 225 Short Oval The Milwaukee Mile 1.0 Miles West Allis, Wisconsin
June 18 The Detroit News Challenge Road Course The Raceway on Belle Isle 2.1 Miles Detroit, Michigan
June 25 Budweiser/G.I. Joe's 200 Road Course Portland International Raceway 1.945 Miles Portland, Oregon
July 22 The Detroit News 100 Superspeedway Michigan Speedway 2.0 Miles Brooklyn, Michigan
July 30 Target Grand Prix of Chicago Short Oval Chicago Motor Speedway 1.0 Miles Cicero, Illinois August 13 Miller Lite 200 Road Course Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 2.258 Miles Lexington, Ohio
September 3 Molson Indy Vancouver Road Course Concord Pacific Place 1.781 Miles Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
September 10 Honda Grand Prix of Monterey Road Course Laguna Seca Raceway 2.24 Miles Monterey, California
September 17 Motorola 300 Short Oval Gateway International Raceway 1.27 Miles Madison, Illinois
October 29 Marlboro 500 Presented by Toyota Superspeedway California Speedway 2.0 Miles Fontana, California
December 3 Aruba Motorsports Complex Road Course Aruba 2.6 Miles
Race dates are subject to change. Television information to be announced.