IndyCar reduces road course events to two days

The NTT IndyCar Series’ seven road course events – plus its Detroit double-header – will be shortened to two days in 2021.

IndyCar reduces road course events to two days

The change, which has been strongly rumored for most of the offseason, has been introduced for two primary reasons. The first is to reduce accommodation costs for the teams and the series, and the second is to reduce personnel’s potential exposure time while the U.S. is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and awaiting vaccinations to become more widespread and take effect.

An IndyCar insider described the weekend schedule revisions as “a balance of 2019 and what was learned in 2020”. Last year, at the height of the pandemic, several events were condensed to two days yet featured two races to help ameliorate the temporary loss of several venues due to statewide lockdowns.

The Chevrolet Detroit GP will also become a two-day affair this year – June 12-13 – as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race will run one week earlier. The CDGP organizers wished to remain sensitive to the fact that the Belle Isle venue is a state park used by others, thereby keeping three total days of action and reducing setup/teardown time to 59 days.

Texas Motor Speedway, like Belle Isle, will feature two days of IndyCar action but including two races, while the round at Gateway’s World Wide Technology Raceway will see IndyCars on track for just one day (Aug. 21) with the NASCAR Trucks race being held the previous evening.

Given their more ‘festival’ nature, the street races at St. Petersburg, Toronto, Nashville and Long Beach will remain three-day events.

Accommodation costs for teams may be further reduced in many cases by the earlier race start times, announced last week. This year, 12 races will start at 3pm ET or sooner.

Firestone is expected to reduce the number of tire sets per car by one at events reduced to two days, although rookies will continue to receive one more set than series veterans.

The reduction of practice days will, naturally, put more emphasis on teams that roll off the trailers fast – something that played into Arrow McLaren SP’s hands in 2020 and, according to Alexander Rossi, hurt Andretti Autosport for much of the season.

Details regarding the format of the two-day weekends is expected “within the next two weeks” according to an IndyCar spokesperson.

- Additional reporting: Trackside Online

shares
comments

Related video

Paretta Autosport reveals sponsorship deal for de Silvestro

Previous article

Paretta Autosport reveals sponsorship deal for de Silvestro

Next article

Jimmie Johnson “sensing” his IndyCar in final preseason test

Jimmie Johnson “sensing” his IndyCar in final preseason test
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher-Lopez
Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call Prime

Preview: Why IndyCar in 2021 is too close to call

The fight for supremacy in the NTT IndyCar Series will be as intense as ever. David Malsher-Lopez is your guide to the main contenders and six intriguing sub-plots.

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight? Prime

Is Arrow McLaren SP ready for IndyCar’s title fight?

With Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up, 2021 could be the year Arrow McLaren SP-Chevrolet joins the IndyCar elite, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team Prime

Dale Coyne picks the Top 10 drivers in his giant-slaying team

Over 37 seasons, Dale Coyne has run no fewer than 80 Indy car drivers – including himself! Ahead of his first season running Romain Grosjean, we asked Coyne to pick the best 10 drivers ever to compete for him. By David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Feb 10, 2021
Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed Prime

Why enigmatic Marco Andretti will be missed

Last Friday, Marco Andretti announced he is withdrawing from fulltime IndyCar racing. David Malsher-Lopez explains how this third-gen racer was a puzzle in the car, but a straight shooter off-track.

IndyCar
Jan 19, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car? Prime

Is the mighty McLaren M16 the greatest ever Indy car?

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indy car game-changer that won three Indy 500s in six years.

IndyCar
Dec 23, 2020
How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost Prime

How Newgarden delivered his best season, yet still lost

Josef Newgarden was our pick as top IndyCar driver of 2020 but his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield the championship. David Malsher-Lopez explains why.

IndyCar
Dec 18, 2020
2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year Prime

2020 IndyCar Review and Top 10 drivers of the year

David Malsher-Lopez explains how the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series was unlike any other, and why it featured familiar and unfamiliar faces competing for glory.

IndyCar
Nov 27, 2020