Acura Grand Prix to be Third Round of 2020 NTT IndyCar Series!
The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be the third round of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series schedule, announced on Sunday by INDYCAR series officials.
Long Beach will be preceded by the season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla. on March 15 and the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 5. The 2020 IndyCar schedule is also highlighted by a return to Richmond Raceway for the first time since 2009 and eight of the 17 races will be featured on NBC.
“We are pleased to return to the Mid-Atlantic region, one we know to be full of INDYCAR fans,” INDYCAR CEO Mark Miles said. “We’re also excited to return to historic Richmond Raceway, which was recently reimagined with a $30 million redevelopment project that modernized the infield for a better fan experience.”
The two-day race weekend will fall on the same weekend utilized for the previous nine NTT IndyCar Series races at Richmond dating back to 2001.
“Richmond Raceway’s history in motorsports dates back to 1946 when the track hosted two AAA Championship Car events,” Richmond Raceway President Dennis Bickmeier said. “After hosting INDYCAR from 2001-2009, we now look forward to the return of the NTT IndyCar Series for our fans at America’s Premier Short Track as part of a Mid-Atlantic festival of speed on June 26-27, 2020.”
The 2020 season marks the second full season with the NBC Sports Group, which will air the races live on NBC and NBCSN in addition to programming on NBC Sports Gold. The coverage will feature eight races on NBC, including a crescendo to the finish and NTT P1 Award qualifying for the Indianapolis 500. The remaining nine races will air on NBCSN.
The season will conclude for the second consecutive year at the historic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca road course, where the championship-deciding race will be held Sunday, Sept. 20 – again on NBC.
Other nuances to the schedule:
- The Circuit of The Americas race, which was the second race of this season, will move to the fourth slot and be held Sunday, April 26.
- After running the oval race at Iowa Speedway (Saturday, July 18), the series will have a three-week break as NBC and NBCSN focus on televising the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course returns to one of its traditional weekends, moving from Sunday, July 28, this season to Sunday, Aug. 16, next year. This will begin NBC’s crescendo to the finale, with three of the final four races on network television (Mid-Ohio, Portland and Laguna Seca).
- The break between the final two races of the season will be reduced from two weeks to one. The Grand Prix of Portland will be held Sunday, Sept. 6, while the Monterey race is set for Sunday, Sept. 20. Both will air on NBC.
The NTT IndyCar Series showcases a diversity of tracks with a schedule comprised of seven held on permanent road courses, five on temporary street circuits and five on oval tracks.
- The centerpiece of the schedule will be the Month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, featuring the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Sunday, May 24. The month will open with the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the speedway’s 2.439-mile road course on Saturday, May 9. Qualifying for the 500 is set for Saturday, May 16, and Sunday, May 17.
- The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach (Sunday, April 19) returns in April for a 37th consecutive year, which is second only to the Indianapolis 500 for most years in succession of Indy car races on the current schedule. Toronto’s Exhibition Place, another tenured event on the schedule, returns for a 36th year with its race on Sunday, July 12.
- After celebrating its 10th INDYCAR race earlier this year, Barber Motorsports Park will host the NTT IndyCar Series on Sunday, April 5.
- The Raceway at Belle Isle Park will host a doubleheader for the eighth consecutive year (Saturday-Sunday, May 30-31), both of which will be televised on NBC.
- Texas Motor Speedway continues its tradition dating to 1997 of hosting a Saturday night summer race (June 6). In addition to Richmond, the NTT IndyCar Series will race Saturday night at Iowa Speedway (July 18) and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (Aug. 22).
- Road America again offers the season’s largest track at 4.048 miles, with the race set for Sunday, June 21, on NBC.
Broadcast times will be announced at a later date.