IndyCar shifts season-opener

Barber Motorsports Park

IndyCar’s new season-opener, the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park, has been moved back a week.

Race day at Barber will now be Sunday, April 18, a week later than previously planned, in a move which puts action on free-to-air television in the United States.

It also means that the 2021 season opens with four races in three consecutive weekends, with the Grand Prix of St Petersburg on April 25 followed by a double-header at Texas Motor Speedway.

St Petersburg was the original season-opener, as is customary, before it was postponed from an early-March date due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The schedule changes we’ve had, while partially prompted by ongoing pandemic conditions, give us a powerful start to the 2021 season,” said Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles.

“With six of our first eight races on network television and all in a more compact timeline, it’s an enormous opportunity to drive even more momentum as we deliver our exciting brand of racing to our fans.”

As the IndyCar calendar and Australia’s border restrictions currently stand, Scott McLaughlin would miss the Repco Bathurst 1000 due to the Long Beach race being moved to September 26.

Dick Johnson Racing Chairman/CEO Ryan Story had already been working on contingencies in case the New Zealander might not be able to return for a co-driving role in one of the squad’s Shell V-Power Mustangs.

The Grand Prix of Alabama event also marks Tasmanian Alex Peroni’s debut in Indy Lights.

IndyCar Series 2021 calendar Revised

Race(s) Event/Circuit Race date Type
1 Barber Motorsports Park Apr 18 Road
2 St Petersburg Apr 25 Street
3, 4 Texas Motor Speedway May 1, 2 Oval
5 Indianapolis May 15 Road
6Q Indianapolis 500 qualifying May 22-23 Oval
6 Indianapolis 500 May 30 Oval
7, 8 Detroit Jun 12-13 Street
9 Road America Jun 20 Road
10 Mid-Ohio Jul 4 Road
11 Toronto Jul 11 Street
12 Nashville Aug 8 Street
13 Indianapolis Aug 14 Road
14 Gateway Aug 21 Oval
15 Portland Sep 12 Road
16 Laguna Seca Sep 19 Road
17 Long Beach Sep 26 Street

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