Busy schedule at Road America on tap for 2015

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Road America has announced its season schedule for 2015, it’s 60th dating back to 1955, and it’s a doozy.

It also is key to note the dates when factoring the other elephant in the room, schedule-wise, for 2015: whatever date the Milwaukee IndyFest race falls for the Verizon IndyCar Series at the Milwaukee Mile.

The first four events run from mid-May to mid-June. They are:

  • SVRA Spring Vintage Weekend, May 15-17
  • MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Motorcycle Road Racing Championship Superbike Doubleheader, May 29-31
  • AHRMA Vintage Motorcycle Classic and the Rockerbox Motofest, June 5-7
  • WeatherTech Chicago Region SCCA June Sprints, June 11-14

Here’s where things get interesting. The Pirelli World Challenge series will return June 26-28, with GT and GTS classes expected in action. That runs a week later than this year, but is expected to be a standalone event for the championship.

The midsummer vintage classic, The HAWK with Brian Redman, returns July 16-19.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship weekend runs August 6-9, with the TUDOR Championship race Sunday the 9th and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race Saturday the 8th.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series date, which had been in June, moves to August at the previously announced dates of Aug. 27-29. SCCA Trans-Am and Mazda MX-5 will be on the docket for that weekend.

The final two events are the OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational (OPTIMA FACEOFF) August 30 and VSCDA Elkhart Lake Vintage Festival September 28-30.

What’s missing? Obviously, an IndyCar date. But that’s not a huge surprise.

However, figure Milwaukee’s IndyCar race could fall either the weekend before or the weekend of the NASCAR race. It could be earlier, but that seems less likely at the moment.

Hotel rooms and availability will be at a premium in the area next year, particularly in August, considering the PGA Championship and Wisconsin State Fair are also on the docket beyond all these racing events.

Start saving your money and filling out your calendars now.

IndyCar’s season finale at St. Pete approved to have 20,000 fans

IndyCar St. Pete fans
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The NTT IndyCar Series’ season finale will be permitted up to 20,000 fans, making the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg possibly the circuit’s most well-attended race of 2020. The race originally was scheduled as the season opener before being moved to Oct. 25 because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

IndyCar has enjoyed limited crowds at Road America, Iowa Speedway, Gateway, Mid-Ohio and this weekend’s doubleheader races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, which could have up to 10,000 fans in attendance. That had been the largest maximum grandstand crowd for an IndyCar race this season.

At a St. Petersburg city council meeting Thursday, Mayor Rick Kriseman approved plans by race organizers Green Savoree Racing Promotions to hold the Oct. 23-25 weekend for the IndyCar Grand Prix of St. Pete with 20,000 fans who would follow health and safety protocols that include mandatory temperature checks and masks.

 “My thanks to Green Savoree Racing Promotions and IndyCar for their flexibility and resilience during this challenging time,” Kriseman said in a release. “I know that everyone is excited to get back on the track in St. Pete. I can’t wait for Oct. 23rd. I know everyone will embrace this race the St. Pete way, adhering to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Let’s have some great racing in the Sunshine City.”

Paddock and the pit lane will remain closed to spectators, and social distancing of at least 6 feet will be observed on site.

“Our entire team greatly appreciates the patience and understanding of our ticket holders as we worked through this process with Mayor Kriseman, City Council and local health officials,” Kim Green, co-owner, chairman and CEO of Green Savoree Promotions. “It’s important for everyone who attends to read and follow all the COVID-19 protocols to contribute to a fun, safe and successful event for us all.”

“The ongoing guidance and support of Mayor Kriseman, City Council, and the City of St. Petersburg’s event team have been phenomenal,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and COO of Green Savoree Promotions. “We also would not be in this position to move this spring tradition to fall without Firestone’s unwavering commitment and dedication. It’s going to be a terrific weekend again in downtown St. Pete in three weeks featuring world-class racing from INDYCAR.”