IndyCar released its 2014 series schedule Friday, which includes 18 races over 15 weekends.
The schedule includes a new event, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on a 2.343-mile, 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 10. It also includes the return of doubleheaders at Detroit, Houston and Toronto.
The season kicks off March 30 with "The World's Fastest Spring Break Party" on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg (Fla.) street circuit.
The season finale is Aug. 30 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.
"The 2014 schedule reflects a more condensed North American calendar to increase the consistency with our race weekends," Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co., the parent of IndyCar, said in a statement. "We'll be building momentum throughout the season toward crowning our champion on Labor Day weekend."
Miles added that the street course race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has been contested the past four years, may return in 2014 but is not currently part of the schedule.
The inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis is on a reconfigured road course currently undergoing $5 million in improvements. The 98th Indianapolis 500 is May 25. Qualifying weekend is May 17-18.
"We're excited about the new month of May at IMS and our first Grand Prix of Indianapolis," Miles said. "Many people want to see more of our racing, and we're putting some of it on our most iconic stage and building toward the '500.' We want to use the strength of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the '500' to leverage value for the IndyCar Series and vice versa."
Full-points doubleheader races on the Belle Isle, Houston and Toronto street courses return for a second year. The event on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn temporary circuit at Reliant Park in Houston moves from early October to late June, bundling the doubleheaders into a two-month span.
The annual night race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 7 separates the Detroit and Houston dates. The second IndyCar Series race at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway on July 6, followed by a night race at the .875-mile Iowa Speedway on July 12, bisect Houston and the doubleheader on the Exhibition Place circuit in Toronto. The span represents racing on four consecutive weekends.
Also, the Milwaukee race was moved from mid-June to Aug. 17, while the fifth annual race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., was pushed back two weeks to April 26.
Four road- and street-course races start the season, while the drive to the championship in August includes road-course races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Sonoma Raceway, the race on the 1-mile Milwaukee oval and the closing race on the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval.
"With the most diverse calendar in all of motorsports, we want the build-up to the championship to reflect our versatility by featuring a short oval, a road course and superspeedway in the final three consecutive weekends of our schedule to highlight the talent of our drivers," Miles said.
2014 IndyCar Series Schedule:
March 30, Streets of St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Fla.
April 13, Streets of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif.
April 26, Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Ala.
May 10, Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
May 25, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis
May 31-June 1, Raceway at Belle Isle Park, Detroit
June 7, Texas Motor Speedway, Fort Worth, Texas
June 28-29, Reliant Park, Houston
July 6, Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Pa.
July 12, Iowa Speedway, Newton, Iowa
July 19-20, Streets of Toronto, Toronto
Aug. 3, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
Aug. 17, The Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee
Aug. 24, Sonoma Raceway, Sonoma, Calif.
Aug. 30, Auto Club Speedway, Fontana, Calif.