The NTT IndyCar Series’ new-look calendar has taken most of the pre-coronavirus schedule, thrown it into a bag, and shaken it to the point of being barely recognizable.
Some dates are still gone, others have moved weeks or months, and with the uncertainty of COVID-19’s impact on the sport as it spreads from coast to coast, be prepared for more calendar shifts.
May 30-31: Detroit Grand Pix doubleheader. Unchanged.
June 6: Texas Motor Speedway. Unchanged, but now the first oval on the schedule
June 21: Road America. Unchanged.
June 27: Richmond. Unchanged.
July 4: Indianapolis Grand Prix. Changed.
Moved from May 9. Combined event with NASCAR. Like the original Indy GP date, the new July 4 event falls on a Saturday where IndyCar will race on the IMS road course prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series making its debut on the same circuit.
July 12: Toronto. Unchanged.
July 18: Iowa. Unchanged.
Remains a Saturday night race.
August 9: Mid-Ohio. Changed.
Moved from August 16 to accommodate practice and qualifying for the Indy 500.
August 12-13: Indy 500 practice. Changed.
Moved from Tuesday May 12 through Thursday May 14, and cut from three days to two. Practice now starts on a Wednesday.
August 14: Indy 500 ‘Fast Friday.’ Changed.
Moved from May 15 where all teams will receive increased turbocharger boost to prepare for qualifying where it will be used.
August 15-16: Indy 500 qualifying. Changed.
Moved from May 16-17. No alterations to the format.
August 21: Indy 500 Carb Day. Changed.
Moved from May 22. Expanded Pit Stop competition, Freedom 100 Indy Lights race.
August 22: Indy 500 Legends Day. Changed.
Moved from May 23. Public drivers meeting, autograph session.
August 23: Indy 500. Changed.
Moved from May 24.
August 30: Gateway. Changed.
Moved from August 22, and shifts from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon.
September 13: Portland. Changed.
Moved from September 6 to provide a break for teams competing on four consecutive weekends from Mid-Ohio through Gateway. New Portland date clashes with the new 24 Hours of Le Mans scrutineering weekend where one or more IndyCar drivers and commentators will need to choose one or the other.
September 20: Monterey. Unchanged.
The weekend also serves as the new 24 Hours of Le Mans race date, which could lead some drivers and commentators to miss Portland and Monterey if they opt for the French endurance event.
TBD: St. Petersburg.
As expected, at least one of the first four races that were cancelled were likely to look for a new date once IndyCar published its amended calendar.
According to Green Savoree Race Promotions, the goal is to place St. Petersburg, originally set to open the championship on March 15, as the series’ new season finale: “This shift to a later date is in support of the NTT IndyCar Series’ efforts to run as many of its points championship races as possible in 2020 and would be expected to serve as the season finale round.”
It’s unclear whether Monterey, which has promoted its event as the championship finale, would be amenable to the curtain closer shifting to another venue.
Separately, RACER has also confirmed April’s Indy Open Test and June’s Richmond Open Test will not be rescheduled.