Portland, Little Changes Among 2018 IndyCar Schedule Highlights
With hopes to build off their success this year, the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule sees very little change from this past season.
“The strength and consistency of the Verizon IndyCar Series’ 2018 schedule is something all of us should be proud of,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, which owns INDYCAR and the Verizon IndyCar Series. “We’re also looking forward to continuing the upward trend of the series through the introduction of the universal aero kits, which testing has shown to be an exciting product.”
Once again, there will be 17 races, with all 16 events returning from 2017 except one – Watkins Glen is replaced by Portland International Raceway, which previously hosted CART and Champ Cart events from 1984 to 2007.
“INDYCAR couldn’t be more excited to again race in front of one of our strongest fan bases,” Miles said. “Portland International Raceway has produced thrilling road racing throughout Indy car history – the 1997 finish still stands as the record for the closest finish on a road or street course – and the timing of our return couldn’t be better given the bold new look our cars will have in 2018. We expect this will be a show fans won’t want to miss.”
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is excited to see the series return to his city, noting INDYCAR brings excitement and thrills for it’s spectators.
“The return of INDYCAR racing to Portland will give us terrific international exposure, a great deal of revenue, new jobs and an exciting experience for race fans,” Wheeler added.
The lack of change allows the balance to remain regarding the different types of courses, with five temporary street circuits, six permanent road courses, and six ovals. The schedule kicks off at St. Petersburg for the eighth consecutive year, and the season finale will once again take place at Sonoma Raceway on September 16.
Of note, Phoenix Raceway returns to it’s slot in the first weekend of April after making way for the NCAA men’s basketball finale this past season.
“We’re thrilled that the Verizon IndyCar Series Phoenix Grand Prix will return to April 6 and 7 under the lights,” said Bryan Sperber, Phoenix Raceway president. “Our race fans will be treated to the stars of the IndyCar Series racing at record speed at Phoenix at a time of year that delivers chamber of commerce weather.”
Anticipation has already been building towards 2018 with the universal aero kits set to be used, versus manufacture aero kits. The series is building up a more sleek, bold look for their cars with heightened competition as a reason to tune in.
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