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19-race IndyCar season unveiled for 2013

The 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series season will consist of 19 races over 16 different venues, chief executive Randy Bernard revealed on Sunday.
Organisers of the IZOD IndyCar Series have announced a 19-race calendar for the 2013 season, up from just 15 races in 2012.

The year will see three 'doubleheader' race weekends featuring standing starts; two new venues; a $1 million 'triple crown' for the winner of the three longest events; and six oval races compared to 13 road and street course events.

"We feel that our 2013 schedule will certainly challenge the fastest, most versatile drivers in the world with a strong mix of ovals and road and street courses, cumulating in 19 races," said Randy Bernard, the CEO of IndyCar.

The 'doubleheader' events will be at Detroit in June, Toronto in July and Houston in October. The six races will all be full distance (unlike the 'split' format trialled at Texas in 2011.) The doubleheader will see one of each pair of races begin with a standing start, with qualifying procedures to be announced in due course.

Series chief executive Randy Bernard said that he was in favour of growing the number of doubleheaders on the calendar, telling USA Today on Friday that "doubleheaders will allow fans the opportunity to see more racing over the course of a race weekend.

"We believe the average distance traveled by fans will be longer for doubleheaders so we'll draw more fans," he added. "The more time you get to see people competing in a race is better, and adding a standing start to one of the races adds to the intrigue."

The new races announced on the calendar are the unique 'tricky triangle' Pocono Raceway tri-oval in July - which returns to the series for the first time since 1989 - and the Houston street course event at Reliant Park in October, last used by Champ Car in 2007

"Pocono is deep in open-wheel, oval racing tradition and has produced some of the most memorable races in Indy car history," explained Bernard. "The addition of Pocono allows us to bring back a version of the triple crown, restoring a popular legacy of our sport to reward the champion of our three longest races of the season."

The triple crown will pay out a $1 million bonus to a driver who sweeps all three of the season's long distance races - the 400-mile Pocono event and the 500-mile Indianapolis and Fontana marathons - or $250,000 to any driver who can win two out of the three.

The season has a familiar look to the first five outings, which have the traditional beginning at St Petersburg in Florida on March 24 followed by three more street courses at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Long Beach in California and Sao Paulo in Brazil. That leads into the month of May, which is dedicated as usual to the build-up to the Indianapolis 500 which this year will take place on May 26.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads the last restart in the Grand Prix of Baltimore (c) 2012 Michael L. Levitt (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
12-15 April, 2012, Long Beach, California, USA. Winner Will Power takes the chequered flag. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo USA. [Photo credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA]
Penske`s Will Power takes the green flag and crosses the start finish line at the start of the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Winner Ryan Hunter-Reay, Charlie Kimball and Mike Conway take the checkered flag. July 6-9, 2012. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
James Hinchcliffe and Ryan Hunter-Reay lead the field in for pit stops as Dario Franchitti is punted by EJ Viso. (c) 2012, Phillip Abbott. LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Indy 500 2017 start
Pippa Mann Indy 500 qualifying
2016 Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Btyan Clauson tribute at Pocono   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Owens]
Justin Wilson tribute at Pocono   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Jones]
Firestone tyres during Indianapolis test   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Alex Rossi, Indy 500 [Credit: IndyCar]

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JimfromSWON - Unregistered

October 02, 2012 5:38 PM

I'm not sure how old the readers of this site are, but Indycar has long roots! Indycar, IRL, CART, or just USAC. Whoever the organising or sanctioning body, they are cars uniquely designed to race at the Indianapolis Speedway. It has always been a spec race of some kind! The early Indy races always used to start with the drivers lined up along the infield fence, then running across the track to their cars backed diagonally along the outside fence. They jumped into the cars, started their engines, tore down the track as they buckled in! It was amazing! Although I don't remember any injuries, I do remember drivers talking about not getting their harnesses buckleed until the 2nd or 3rd lap. It was changed to an in-car standing start, & then a rolling start! So yes, Indy has a very long history, yes they have many traditions, and despite all the complaining, it is the most interesting, compedative racing leagues. It is not a juniour race to F1. Why do you think former F1 champion

David Chaste - Unregistered

October 02, 2012 4:30 AM

Why should Indycar be happy to simply become another stepping stone to F1. Indycar has its own flavor. Besides les than 10 percent of those aspiring to F1 make it there. Most of F1's revenue is derived from various governments funding the Grand Prix's. So in truth no one really knows how economically viable it is as a business model. Only the Austin Grand Prix will have private funding. The only government funded races in Indycar are the ones outside the U.S. The american races have very little government involvement. So in essence Indycar operates in a stronger economic climate: people have to recoup their money back and some. Hence the reason why the different racing approaches

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