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2012 IndyCar Schedule Released

The 2012 Honda Indy Toronto is set for July 8. Photo by Ramesh BayneyA first-ever event in China and two venues that return after multi-year absences highlight the IZOD IndyCar Series schedule for 2012.

The 2012 season, which will feature the return of engine manufacturer competition and a new universal chassis produced by Dallara Automobili, kicks off Sunday, March 25, with the eighth Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The IZOD IndyCar Series again presents the most diverse schedule in motorsports with the challenges of races on temporary street circuits, permanent road courses, superspeedways and short ovals in four countries.

"To be crowned IZOD IndyCar Series champion, the driver must be able to master a diversified race schedule that truly challenges the best in the world," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "The 2012 schedule offers our drivers and teams the test of conquering both ovals and road and street races. Adding to the diversity of the season, we're excited with the launch of three engine manufacturers vying for the Manufacturers Trophy."

The scenic Belle Isle park circuit will be the site of the recently announced Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Sunday, June 3. The IZOD IndyCar Series had competed at the Raceway at Belle Isle in 2007 and '08. Also returning to the schedule is the 2-mile Auto Club Speedway oval in Fontana, Calif., for a race under the lights Saturday, Sept. 15. INDYCAR sanctioned four races at Auto Club Speedway between 2002 and '05, while CART hosted events at the track from 1997 to 2002.

Night races also will be held at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 9, and the .875-mile Iowa Speedway on Saturday, June 23.

The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled for Sunday, May 27, with Pole Day on Saturday, May 19.

The IZOD IndyCar Series returns to Barber Motorsports Park for the third consecutive year on Sunday, April 1, and the 38th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be held Sunday, April 15. Also, the series will compete on the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the third time on Sunday, April 29, as the lead-in to Indianapolis 500 activities.

Back-to-back races in Canada highlight July - on the streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto on Sunday, July 8, and on the exciting City Centre Airport circuit in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday, July 22.

The permanent road courses of the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Sunday, Aug. 5) and Infineon Raceway (Sunday, Aug. 26) also retain their traditional dates. On Sunday, Sept. 2, the IZOD IndyCar Series will electrify the streets of downtown Baltimore for the second consecutive year.

"INDYCAR is excited about the confirmed races announced today," said Bernard. "With the new car and engine manufacturer competition, we believe they will be tremendous events that will help INDYCAR grow.

"We are exploring adding additional events to the 2012 schedule. We're in the process of confirming a 16th event, while also considering adding a 17th race to the calendar."

In addition to the race schedule, the series' annual preseason Open Test will be held at Sebring International Raceway on March 5-8.

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