Series announces 2010 schedule

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS SCHEDULE TO FEATURE 13 RACES IN 2010 Twelve returning tracks, Barber Motorsports Park make up developmental series' slate INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 - Firestone Indy Lights will offer the challenge...

FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS SCHEDULE TO FEATURE 13 RACES IN 2010
Twelve returning tracks, Barber Motorsports Park make up developmental series' slate

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009 - Firestone Indy Lights will offer the challenge of one of the most diverse schedules of any developmental series in motorsports in 2010, with 13 races divided among five ovals, four temporary street circuits, and four permanent road courses.

The 2010 schedule includes 12 venues that hosted Firestone Indy Lights races in 2009 and the series' first race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. All races will be held in conjunction with the IndyCar Series.

"Our goal is to prepare Firestone Indy Lights drivers to become successful IndyCar Series drivers, and to reach that goal they must gain experience and succeed on all types of racing circuits," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Firestone Indy Lights. "The schedule offers that challenge to our drivers each year."

For the eighth consecutive year, the Firestone Indy Lights season will begin competition in Florida, with a race on the streets of St. Petersburg to open the campaign on March 27 or 28.

The series will then make its debut at the 2.3-mile Barber Motorsports Park on April 10 or 11 before heading to the Streets of Long Beach, Calif., for the second time on April 17 or 18. Dates will be determined soon.

The first oval of the season will be the series' premier event - the Firestone Freedom 100 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 28 two days before the Indianapolis 500.

"The opportunity to compete on Carb Day at Indianapolis is an experience that is second to none for our drivers, teams and sponsors and the highlight of the schedule each year," Bailey said. "We feel like our schedule demands the ability of both drivers and teams to master a variety of venues with the end result of a champion that is fully prepared to be an IndyCar Series driver."

The summer stretch features five consecutive road course events, including a Canadian swing on the streets of Toronto on July 17 or 18 and at Edmonton's City Centre Airport on July 24 or 25.

The season will conclude with three consecutive oval events, including the championship race Oct. 1 or 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which will host the Firestone Indy Lights for the eighth year in a row.

"The 2010 Firestone Indy Lights schedule has great balance," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing. "It provides the perfect blend of ovals, street circuits and road courses necessary to prepare these talented and developing drivers for the rigors of the IndyCar Series. If they can master the diversity of tracks on the Firestone Indy Lights schedule, it will have them well prepared to take that next step. Competing on this array of venues also allows Firestone Racing to more finely develop and advance the technology of the Firehawk race tires. We're looking forward to another great season of exciting Firestone Indy Lights racing in 2010."

The Firestone Indy Lights is the premier ladder series for drivers and teams striving to compete in the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Teams compete for nearly $4 million in prize money in cars that are second in speed only to the IndyCar Series cars at most tracks they visit. Graduates of this fast and cost-effective series include Marco Andretti, Richard Antinucci, Ed Carpenter, Raphael Matos and Hideki Mutoh.

-credit: irl

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Series INDYLIGHTS