IndyCar’s schedule is coming out Tuesday, most likely, with few surprises

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With most if not all of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule known anyway via either track release dates, some series release dates (i.e. Road America’s return) and various media reports (USA Today, Indianapolis Star and FOXSports.com among others have come out just in the last few days), tomorrow’s projected full series schedule release promises to offer little more to add to what we already know.

What will be important to watch? Two things, if they’re revealed (and they’re expected to be): start times, and TV outlets.

This year, ABC had the usual month of May with all of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis 500 qualifying (two days, two shows), the 99th Indianapolis 500 race and then straight into the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit Presented by Quicken Loans doubleheader the following weekend. It also had the season-opening round in St. Petersburg.

NBCSN (or CNBC) had the remaining races, and the balance of the schedule from Texas Motor Speedway through to the season finale at Sonoma.

Some series insiders have suggested the NBCSN ratings bump this year was due in part to later start times – from Auto Club Speedway in June onwards, races topped 500,000 viewers and the Mid-Ohio CNBC race, later replayed on NBCSN with a NASCAR lead-in, brought that race’s combined total north of 600,000.

The NASCAR effect has obviously helped, too, with vigorous cross promotion of IndyCar content during NASCAR races, and vice versa.

With the Summer Olympics in Rio next August, it creates something of a headache for non-Olympics properties airing across the NBC networks. F1’s on its summer break for most of the month and so too will IndyCar; NASCAR, meanwhile will work around the conflicts when its schedule is released.

So here’s the expected dates for 2016, gathered from previous announced dates and other media reports.

The key for IndyCar’s actual release is TV and the times you’ll be seeing these races, rather than any drama about where they’ll be racing:

  • March 13, St. Petersburg
  • April 2, Phoenix
  • April 17, Long Beach
  • April 24, Barber
  • May 14, Indianapolis GP
  • May 21-22, Indianapolis 500 qualifying
  • May 29, Indianapolis 500
  • June 4-5, Detroit (2 races)
  • June 11, Texas
  • June 26, Road America
  • July 9, Iowa
  • July 17, Toronto
  • July 31, Mid-Ohio
  • August 21, Pocono
  • Sept. 4, Boston
  • Sept. 18, Sonoma

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”