Infiniti Pro Series schedule expands to 11 events in 2003

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Nov. 1, 2002 - The second season of Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series competition will expand to 11 races at some of the nation's finest oval venues, with a 12th event tentatively scheduled for the night before the 87th Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

The 100-mile Infiniti Pro Series "sprints" will take place at the same track on the day before Indy Racing League events except for the Miami, Kansas and Michigan races, which will be held the same day as the IRL events.

"In 2003, the Infiniti Pro Series will be racing at almost twice as many tracks, with almost twice as many competitors as we did in our inaugural season," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Infiniti Pro Series. "With 11 confirmed and a possible 12th event, the Pro Series provides the opportunity for drivers to showcase their talents on a variety of first-class tracks on the same weekend as Indy Racing League events.

"Clearly, the strong competition and steady growth that characterize the Indy Racing League are also evident in the rapid development of the Infiniti Pro Series. With an increased number of races and participants, we're looking forward to another season of close, exciting racing.

"With the tremendous support we're receiving from our partners, fans and teams, the Infiniti Pro Series is well on its way to becoming the premier open-wheel development series in the world."

The Infiniti Pro Series serves as an essential stepping-stone for drivers striving to reach the pinnacle of open-wheel, oval-track racing in America, the Indy Racing League.

Infiniti Q45 engines power Dallara Automobili chassis built for the series, with Firestone Firehawk tires used exclusively on all cars. The V8 engines produce approximately 450 horsepower for the single-seat winged chassis, providing an ideal training ground for the 650-horsepower, single-seat winged cars of the Indy Racing League.

Details of television coverage of the series will be announced when available.

-irl/ips-