INDYCAR has confirmed the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule, which features returning venues as well as some stops that are back after a hiatus from hosting Indy car competition and even a brand-new street circuit event.
While much of the schedule was already known through previous announcements, today’s announcement confirms a diverse array of venues with five ovals, five permanent road courses, and five temporary street circuits.
The season will kick off on March 13 on the streets of St. Petersburg two weeks earlier than 2015 followed by a return to Phoenix International Raceway on April 2. The one-mile tri-oval oval hosted Indy car races 61 times from 1964-2005.
The remainder of April will see the series visit the streets of Long Beach for the traditional Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach before heading to Alabama for another race at picturesque Barber Motorsports Park.
The month of May will get going on May 14 with the third annual Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis before qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 will take place on May 20-21 with the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 29.
After the historic 100th edition of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Verizon IndyCar Series will return to Belle Isle on June 4-5 for the only doubleheader on the 2016 schedule. All Indianapolis Motor Speedway events and the Detroit races will air on ABC.
Teams will travel to Texas for the third oval race of the year on June 11th before going back north to the rolling hills of Wisconsin for the much-anticipated return of Indy cars to Road America in Elkhart Lake. Iowa Speedway will move from a Saturday night feature to a Sunday afternoon race on July 10 to avoid a NASCAR conflict. A week later, Toronto returns on its traditional date with a single race around Exhibition Place on July 17.
The series will make its traditional mid-summer stop at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 31 before they journey back to Pocono Raceway for the ABC Supply 500 on August 21.
The season will wrap up in September with a new race on the streets of Boston on September 4 and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway on September 18.
All events following the Detroit doubleheader plus Phoenix, Long Beach, and Barber will air on NBCSN.
“Overall, the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule is another key step forward in INDYCAR’s strategic vision,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent of INDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a series press release.
“We’re confident that the momentum that INDYCAR has experienced in fan engagement over the past two seasons will continue as a result of the tireless efforts of our event promoters and our improved scheduling on ABC and NBCSN.
“The 2016 season is defined by the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500. The historic significance of our season is marked by this legendary event and the return of several storied venues such as Road America and Phoenix. Half the venues on our schedule have hosted 25 or more INDYCAR races and further our rich heritage as the premier form of open wheel racing in the United States.”
The season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is set for March 13.