IndyCar reduces road course events to two days

The IndyCar Series’ seven road course events, including 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 rumoured for most of the off-season, 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 America is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and awaiting vaccinations to become more widespread.

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 Detroit Grand Prix will also become a two-day affair this year on 12-13 June as the IMSA SportsCar Championship race will run one week earlier.

The Detroit GP organisers 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 will see IndyCars on track for just one day, with the NASCAR Trucks race being held the previous evening.

IndyCar, Road America 2020

IndyCar, Road America 2020

Photo by: Motorsport Images

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 tyre 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 last week, hurt Andretti Autosport.

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

shares
comments
Power was turned down by Ganassi for IndyCar drive in 2008

Previous article

Power was turned down by Ganassi for IndyCar drive in 2008

Next article

O’Ward has "unfinished business" with race wins in 2021

O’Ward has "unfinished business" with race wins in 2021
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
Author David Malsher
How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival? Plus

How good is Palou - and can he be Dixon's main IndyCar title rival?

Last Sunday, Alex Palou delivered his first IndyCar victory on his Chip Ganassi Racing debut. Is the young Spaniard going to become his legendary teammate Scott Dixon’s biggest title threat? DAVID MALSHER-LOPEZ investigates Palou's potential

IndyCar
Apr 21, 2021
Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans? Plus

Can Penske redress the balance in IndyCar's battle of the titans?

IndyCar's gold standard teams Ganassi and Penske are set for another slugfest beginning this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. A poor start to the first season with the new aeroscreen left Josef Newgarden with too much ground to make up on Scott Dixon in the title chase, but his strong end to 2020 suggests a battle royale lies ahead...

IndyCar
Apr 16, 2021
The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021 Plus

The six major IndyCar subplots to follow in 2021

From rookies arriving with big reputations to veterans who still have the fire and an F1-linked squad pushing to join the big leagues, IndyCar has it all this year. Here are six of the key storylines to keep track of

IndyCar
Apr 15, 2021
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

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 Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020