PALMETTO, Fla. – Andersen Promotions has announced the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires schedules for next year.
The schedules will feature 12 events in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series, including a new venue with the addition of Circuit of The Americas and a return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the season finale of all three levels of the driver development platform.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship calendars all will feature a mix of ovals, street circuits and road courses to properly train drivers to move up the ladder system with the ultimate goal of reaching IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500.
Following an Aug. 1 announcement by IndyCar and Andersen Promotions, the future of Indy Lights is bright, strengthened by a five-year plan to increase team and driver participation for the final stepping stone to the top level. In addition to an increased champion’s purse of $1.1 million built on a three-race IndyCar program including the 2020 Indianapolis 500, a reduction in entrant budgets was unveiled alongside revised IndyCar driver licensing guidelines and an expansion of the IndyCar testing program.
Indy Lights has become the backbone of IndyCar with 25 of the 33 starters in the 2018 Indianapolis 500 as graduates, including its last five champions.
With the highly debut of the Tatuus PM-18 this season – finalizing the revitalization of all three levels with state-of-the-art equipment – both Pro Mazda and USF2000 look poised for strong fields next year.
Details on the full prize packages for each series – including the champion’s scholarships to advance to Pro Mazda and Indy Lights – are currently being finalized and will be announced in the near future.
Prior to kicking off the season, two events remain on the current calendar. Following the conclusion of the eighth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past weekend, a second open test has been scheduled at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course in Homestead, Fla., on Dec. 3-4. The third annual Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout featuring 20 champions of junior open-wheel and karting series from North and South America as well as Europe, Asia, Australasia and Africa will take place in December, with venue details and the judging panel to be announced this week.
The traditional Road to Indy annual Spring Training will see all levels return to Homestead-Miami Speedway, on March 2-4 for three days of on-track action on the 2.21-mile road course. The first two rungs – Pro Mazda and USF2000 – will take to the track on March 2-3, with a total of four hours of testing time. Indy Lights will have its own dedicated day of action on March 4, comprising five hours of track time.
Spring Training will include the Road to Indy Driver Summit Program. Activities include a comprehensive competition presentation, media training – which most recently was hosted by prominent authorities and noted broadcasters Leigh Diffey and Kevin Lee – and unique presentations on the sixth annual Cooper Tires social media hashtag program and Road to Indy TV, which also returns for its sixth season.
The 2019 Indy Lights calendar will feature an 18-race, 10-event schedule comprised of six road course, two street circuit and two oval events highlighted by the crown jewel in the schedule – the Freedom 100 on Carb Day for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Pro Mazda schedule will feature 16 races at nine venues consisting of five road course, two street circuit and two oval events. In support of the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, both Pro Mazda and USF2000 will return for the Carb Night Classic on May 24 at Lucas Oil Raceway, which is undergoing a $10M-plus renovation.
USF2000 will see 15 races at eight events consisting of five road course, two street circuit and one oval event.
“Assembling next year’s schedule was the hardest it has been in recent years and that’s because we have too many options, which is a nice problem to have,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We want to be cognizant of team budgets and also have a well-rounded platform for our drivers alongside key markets for series, team and driver sponsors and partners. I am happy with our final blend of events and want to thank all of the promoters for working with us. Portland was a great event this year, and we look forward to returning to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and adding what will be a tremendous outing at Circuit of The Americas.
“We have a great platform in place but we always want to be better, and we will be looking at ways to improve for 2019. Adding Jonny Baker as our new Series Development Director was a first step. We are also working hard on the sponsorship side for a new partner to entitle the Road to Indy. There really is no off-season in racing and this one will be busier than usual for everyone at Andersen Promotions, but we welcome and look forward to the challenge and the opportunities that lie ahead. We have the full support of Jay Frye and his team at IndyCar, and I feel the Road to Indy will be back stronger than ever next year.”
For complete schedules for each series, advance to the next page.