Indy Lights

Andersen Promotions releases 2020 Road to Indy schedule

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Andersen Promotions revealed the 2020 schedules for each of the Road to Indy developmental series Thursday, with all three levels of the ladder system (Indy Lights, Indy Pro 200 and USF2000) once again returning as support races during several prominent NTT IndyCar Series race weekends next year.

The three series combined will offer over $2.7 million in scholarships and awards to IndyCar hopefuls competing in the various stages of the Road to Indy system.

The Road to Indy program has been influential in helping several of IndyCar’s current stars reach the highest level of American open-wheel racing. 23 of the 33 starters in this year’s Indianapolis 500 were Road to Indy graduates, and a total of 26 graduates have competed in NTT IndyCar Series events this season.

In addition to the release of the 2020 series schedules, Anderson Promotions also confirmed Thursday that they will host the 9th annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test on October 19 and 20 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Competitors from all three developmental series will participate in the two-day session.

Here are the 2020 Road to Indy schedules:

Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 

The 2020 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires schedule features 18 races at 10 venues, including the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, May 22. All races will air live exclusively on NBC Sports Gold.

March 14/15      Streets of St. Petersburg  1.8-mile street course* 
April 4/5  Barber Motorsports Park                        2.3-mile road course* 
May 8/9  Indianapolis Motor Speedway  2.439-mile road course* 
May 22  Indianapolis Motor Speedway  2.5-mile oval 
June 20/21  Road America  4.014-mile road course*        
July 11/12  Streets of Toronto  1.786-mile street course*  
August 15/16  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course  2.258-mile road course* 
August 22  World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway  1.25-mile oval 
September 5/6   Portland International Raceway 1.967-mile road course* 
September 19/20     WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca  2.238-mile road course* 

*Doubleheader weekend

In addition, the series will conduct five open test days: March 9 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (road course), May 7 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course), May 18 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (oval), August 12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and August 20 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.

Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires 

The 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires schedule will feature 18 races at 10 venues, including a doubleheader weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 8 and 9.

March 14/15             Streets of St. Petersburg                                  1.8-mile street course*           
April 25/26  Circuit of The Americas  3.41-mile road course* 
May 8/9  Indianapolis Motor Speedway  2.439-mile road course* 
May 22  Lucas Oil Raceway  .686-mile oval 
June 20/21  Road America  4.014-mile road course* 
July 11/12  Streets of Toronto  1.786-mile street course* 
August 15/16  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course  2.258-mile road course* 
August 22  World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway  1.25-mile oval 
September 5/6  Portland International Raceway  1.967-mile road course* 
September 19/20  WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca  2.238-mile road course* 

*Doubleheader weekend

The series will also conduct eight test days: March 7/8 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (road course), April 23 at Circuit of the Americas, May 7 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course), May 11 at Lucas Oil Raceway, August 13 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 20 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, and September 3 at Portland International Raceway.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship 

The 2020 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship schedule includes 18 races at nine venues, including a tripleheader weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 8 and 9.

March 14/15             Streets of St. Petersburg                                  1.8-mile street course*          
April 25/26  Circuit of The Americas  3.41-mile road course* 
May 8/9  Indianapolis Motor Speedway  2.439-mile road course** 
May 22  Lucas Oil Raceway  .686-mile oval 
June 20/21  Road America  4.014-mile road course* 
July 11/12  Streets of Toronto  1.786-mile street course* 
August 15/16  Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course  2.258-mile road course* 
September 5/6  Portland International Raceway  1.967-mile road course* 
September 19/20  WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca  2.238-mile road course* 

*Doubleheader weekend

**Tripleheader weekend

The series will conduct seven test days: March 7/8 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (road course), April 23 at Circuit of the Americas, May 7 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course), May 11 at Lucas Oil Raceway, August 13 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and September 3 at Portland International Raceway.

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Latest INDYCAR Aeroscreen test continues to provide feedback; data to series

Bruce Martin Photo
Bruce Martin Photo
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RICHMOND, Virginia – After completing its third Aeroscreen test since October 2, INDYCAR continues to collect valuable data and feedback from the drivers and engineers involved in testing.

The latest test of the Aeroscreen came Tuesday, October 15 at Richmond Raceway, a .750-mile short oval. Five-time NTT IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon has been involved in testing dating all the way back to 2017 at Phoenix with the original “Windscreen.” Tuesday’s test was the first-time two-time NTT IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden was able to test the device that partially encloses the cockpit proving greatly enhanced driver safety.

It was also the first time the current “Aeroscreen” designed and created by Red Bull Advanced Technologies, Pankl and Dallara has been tested at a short oval – a track that measures under 1.5-miles in length.

The previous tests were at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 2 and the Barber Motorsports Park road course on October 7.

“It wasn’t a problem getting in the car today and relearning a new viewpoint,” Newgarden told NBC Sports.com at the conclusion of Tuesday’s test. “It felt like a new viewpoint. It’s still an Indy car. It still feels like an Indy car. The car does a lot of the things it did before. It required some slight tuning differences to accommodate a different center of gravity and different total weight.

“Overall, it still felt like the same Indy car I drove three weeks ago. You get used to that new viewpoint within 30 or 40 laps. It was alien at first but halfway through the day it feels like home again.”

Newgarden’s Team Penske test team along with INDYCAR officials worked on changes to getting air into the cockpit and directing the air to the right place where the driver can utilize it.

“We’ve come up with some solutions that we like,” Newgarden said. “INDYCAR and the teams will continue to fine-tune this. That is why we are doing these tests. The main goal was to figure this out and fine-tune this stuff. We have come up with a lot of good solutions to all of the little things we have talked about that we have needed so when Sebastien Bourdais goes to Sebring (on November 5), it will just be another version.

“We are already close. Because they are such small details, it feels like normal racing stuff and we will come up with solutions for that.”

Some drivers who have participated in the Aeroscreen test has said, they almost feel naked without having the halo-like structure with a clear windshield protecting them on the race car.

“Once we got through a whole IndyCar season, if you took it off, it would feel really strange,” Newgarden said. “People adapt so quickly to a change, what the car looks like. Once you give us a couple of races and a full year, it will feel like home and something we are very used to as drivers.

“It is already starting to get that way. People are feeling more comfortable with it. The field of view is almost identical to the way it was before. Your peripheral vision is identical, the way you look out the front of the cars is identical, the way you see the tires is identical.”

Individual driver preference will allow for shading of the sun and that can be accomplished with the visor strips on the helmet and the tear-offs on Aeroscreen.

Drivers will also have a bit of a quieter atmosphere inside the cockpit. The partial enclosure makes it easier to hear his radio communication and the sounds of the engine in the driver’s car. It partially blocks out the sounds of the engines in the other cars and the rush of wind traveling at high speeds that used to buffet in and around the helmet.

“It has changed the noise level slightly inside the cockpit,” Newgarden said. “For me, it wasn’t super dramatic. It’s a slight reduction in wind noise. You’re not getting the wind directly over your head as dramatically as you would before. All that external noise has just been dimmed.

“You can hear the radio a touch better, things like that. But the engine noise is still quite prominent. It’s bolted directly behind us, so you still hear quite a bit of what’s going on in the car and the engine.”

Dixon was in the car at Indianapolis on October 2 and returned on Tuesday. The Barber test on October 7 included this year’s Indianapolis 500 winner, Simon Pagenaud, in a Team Penske Chevrolet and Ryan Hunter-Reay in an Andretti Autosport Honda.

“The only differences are the openings on the front wing that creates some more airflow around the legs and body and a different inlet in the screen that was in place today,” Dixon told NBC Sports.com. “There were helmet cooling options since the Barber test because on the road course, some of the drivers were getting a little hotter.

“This project has been very in-depth. It hit the ground running very smoothly. There are some alternate options they are trying to create, especially on the street courses where we will experience hot condition. On street conditions, your depth perception changes because of how close you are to the walls, but we should get used to that.”

Two weeks ago, Team Penske driver Will Power said it takes a different style to get out of the race car because of the added height of the Aeroscreen.

That hasn’t been a problem for Dixon.

“That’s easy, man,” he said. “Just go through the hole in the top.”