Firestone Indy Lights announced today a 12-race schedule for its 2013 season, featuring a diverse line up of ovals, road and street circuits, designed to prepare drivers for the for the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder – the IZOD IndyCar Series.
New additions to the schedule for 2013 are the historic 2.5 mile oval at Pocono Raceway, the 1.7-mile, ten turn temporary street course at Reliant Park in Houston and the series’ return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, its first race at the 2.258 mile natural terrain road course since 2010.
“Our goal is to create a schedule that will challenge our up-and-coming drivers while preparing them for the diversity of the IZOD IndyCar Series,” said Tony George Jr., director, Firestone Indy Lights. “For the 2013 season, we are adding one new oval, road course and temporary street circuit, which only enhances the strength of our schedule. To be crowned champion and earn the $1 million Mazda Road to Indy scholarship to the IZOD IndyCar Series, a driver must master each discipline on the circuit in order to maximize points opportunities.”
The season will open March 23-24 on the streets of St. Petersburg and the season finale will once again be hosted at Auto Club Speedway, Oct. 18-19. Nine venues that hosted Firestone Indy Lights races in 2012 return and all event weekends will be run in conjunction with the IZOD IndyCar Series and complemented by other series in the Mazda Road to Indy.
George added: “We feel it’s important to create opportunities to expose the talents of our Firestone Indy Lights and Mazda Road to Indy drivers alongside the IZOD IndyCar Series. We want to showcase the strength of our ladder system and there is no better way to do that than to run at the tracks where the IZOD IndyCar Series competes.”
The first oval of the season will be the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 24, two days before the Indianapolis 500. In total, five ovals appear on the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights schedule. All Firestone Indy Lights races will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network, with dates and times to be announced soon.
2013 Firestone Indy Lights Schedule
Date / Track / City / Venue
March 23-24 / Streets of St. Petersburg / St. Petersburg, FL / 1.8 mile street course
April 6-7 / Barber Motorsports Park / Birmingham, AL / 2.38 mile road course
April 20-21 / Streets of Long Beach / Long Beach, CA / 1.968 mile street course
May 24 / Indianapolis Motor Speedway / Indianapolis, IN / 2.5 mile oval
June 14-15 / The Milwaukee Mile / West Allis, WI / 1 mile oval
June 22-23 / Iowa Speedway / Newton, IO / .875 mile oval
July 6-7 / Pocono International Raceway / Long Pond, PA / 2.5 mile oval
July 12-13 / Streets of Toronto / Toronto, ON / 1.75 mile street course
August 3-4 / Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course / Lexington, OH / 2.258 mile road course
Aug 31-Sep 1 / Streets of Baltimore / Baltimore, MD / 2.04 mile street course
October 5-6 / Reliant Park / Houston, TX / 1.7 mile street course
October 18-19 / Auto Club Speedway / Fontana, CA / 2 mile oval
* Schedule subject to change
From Amy Konrath, INDYCAR