Indy Lights car delay explained

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A lack of clarity and concise decisions over the IndyCar Series’ future direction under new management is cited as the main reason why the supporting Firestone Indy Lights Series’ new car has been delayed, according to Autosport.

Series director Tony George Jr. explained the reasoning why Indy Lights’ new car, slated for a debut in 2014, has been postponed indefinitely.

“This is a big decision that is going to require long-term commitments, and I think that [IndyCar] management is still deciphering where we need to head,” he said. “Any time that you create a long-term plan, all the other, smaller, short-term plans that go into that may need to be altered to some degree.”

The Indy Lights series began in its current incarnation in 2002, and was then known as the Infiniti Pro Series. It’s had the same car for that entire time.

The current Dallara chassis, like its big brother Dallara IR03 on the IndyCar side, initially was designed only for oval racing. It has been modified to accommodate an increased amount of racing on the road and street courses.

At the moment, Indy Lights has less than 10 confirmed drivers for its 2013 season. The series is the top of IndyCar’s Mazda Road to Indy rung; all races will be televised on NBC Sports Network this season.

Expected Indy Lights champions on the 2013 grid include JR Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden and Tristan Vautier. Other Indy Lights graduates currently racing in IndyCar include James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, Sebastian Saavedra, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Ed Carpenter.

Brazilian veterans Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves have also raced in Indy Lights in its former incarnation, before each graduated to the CART series in 1998. Kanaan won the 1997 Indy Lights title.

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.