Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Staggering Work of Pure Fantasy

2015 IZOD IndyCar Championship
Phoenix 300
St. Petersburg GP
Sao Paolo Indy GP
Long Beach GP
Kansas 300
Indianapolis 500
Texas 400
Milwaukee 300
Iowa 250
Cleveland GP
Watkins Glen GP
Toronto Indy GP
Edmonton Indy GP
New England 300
Richmond 250
Kentucky 300
Michigan 500
Chicagoland 300
Road America GP
Mid-Ohio GP
Homestead 300
Las Vegas 300
Portland GP
Sonoma GP
California 500

The 2015 IZOD IndyCar Championship will feature 25 races from early spring through mid fall.  It will open and close on classic American ovals, and will be grouped by type throughout, so teams can focus on one format for several races, rather than changing the entire car week to week.  This grouped structure will also encourage part-time drivers to run more than just the Indy 500.

It will feature 14 races on oval tracks, with a mix of short tracks, speedways, and super speedways, each with both low-banked and high-banked tracks.

The 5 natural terrain road courses offer a mix of both flowing high-speed tracks and tight, technical sources. 

The 6 street circuits mix classic tight street racing venues with wide-open airport races contested on the wide runways of public airfields.
The three 500-mile races will comprise an IndyCar Triple Crown, offering a bonus to any driver who can sweep the three races.

The Indianapolis 500 will retain its traditional Memorial Day date, while the Michigan 500 will fill the Labor Day spot, and the California 500 will fill the role of season finale.

Contesting this championship season will be 30 full-time efforts, running chassis that share a common safety tub, but are otherwise the products of Dallara, Swift, Lola, Panoz, and a lone entry in a Cheever-Coyote (go ahead, guess which team).  They will run engines designed or badged by Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, and Volkswagen, in partnership with engine tuning houses Cosworth, Ilmor, AER, Roush, Childress, and Menard.  The cars will be shod with either Firestone or Goodyear tires.

With the recovering economy and the increasing ratings on the Versus network (which is now available in as many homes as ESPN) sponsors have seen potential in the series, which has allowed teams to (mostly) hire drivers without considering what sponsorship they might bring. This has led to a resurgence in the level of American talent in the IndyCar ranks to compete with the many international stars in the series.

Of particular note this year is the stunning move of three-time World Champion Fernando Alonso to the IndyCar Championship, taking the Target Chip Ganassi seat manned until last year by two-time Indy 500 winner and 2-time IndyCar Champion Dario Franchitti, who this year will join the broadcast crew for the Indy 500.

Sometimes I see a lot of doom and gloom from fellow IndyCar fans, and I just need to focus on potential and fun.  That's what this has been.  Just a lark.  Fernando Alonso is not in fact coming to race at the Indy 500.  Sorry!

No comments: