IndyCar unveils 19-race 2013 schedule

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IOL mot pic oct1 Indy 500 Franchitti AP The Indianapolis 500 is the highlight of the IndyCar calendar. Here Dario Franchitti makes a pit stop at the Brickyard.

IndyCar will stage a 19-race season in 2013 that includes new races at Pocono Raceway and Houston and races on back-to-back days at three venues.

The expanded line-up sees Edmonton dropped but a new race at Pennsylvania's 1400m Pocono oval on 7 July and two races on a new 2.7km street course at Houston on 5 and 6 October.

Detroit and Toronto will also host two races each, the Belle Isle 3.3km street course hosting events outside Detroit on 1 and 2 June and Toronto's street course of 2.8km being the site for races 13 and 14 July.

Standing starts, another IndyCar first, will be used at Detroit, Houston and Toronto.

The signature event of the schedule, the 97th Indianapolis 500, will be run on 26 May 26 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

IndyCar chief executive Randy Bernard said: “Our 2013 schedule will certainly challenge the fastest, most versatile drivers in the world with a strong mix of ovals and road and street courses.”

The season will start on 24 March at St Petersburg, Florida.

It will stay on street courses for races on 7 April at Birmingham, Alabama, 21 April at Long Beach, California, and 5 May at Sao Paulo in Brazil.

After the Indy 500 come the Detroit races and oval races at Fort Worth, Texas, on 8 June, Milwaukee on 15 June, Iowa Speedway on 23 June and Pocono.

The two Toronto races will be followed by Mid-Ohio on 4 August, California's Sonoma Raceway on 25 August, Baltimore, Maryland on 1 September and the two Houston races.

As with this season, the season-ending race will be run at the oval in Fontana, California, this time a month later on 19 October.

American Ryan Hunter-Reay edged Australian Will Power for the season points title at Fontana. - Sapa-AFP

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