IndyCar speeds into Circuit of The Americas for first-ever Austin race

IndyCar is speeding into Austin in 2019. Courtesy of Texas Motor Speedway

Originally appeared on CultureMap/Austin.

Racing fans, start your engines — IndyCar is rolling into Austin next spring. On September 4, Circuit of The Americas announced that North America’s open-wheel racing series will hit the track March 22-24, 2019, for a weekend of races, events, and more. 

Among the drivers expected to compete are Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais, Alexander Rossi, Tony Kanaan, Graham Rahal, Marco Andretti, Will Power, and Takuma Sato. Native Texans Ryan Hunter-Reay and A.J. Foyt are also expected to make an appearance in their home state during the three-day extravaganza.

When it came to picking Austin as a stop on the 2019 schedule, owner of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Mark Miles said the city was a "natural fit."

“COTA is one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world and Austin is a happening city,” said Miles in a release announcing the news. “Indy car racing has a large and passionate fan base in Texas with a hunger to attend more races. This added date will allow us to deliver both oval and road course events to the state in a single season.”

COTA is no stranger to high-speed motorsports. World Rallycross, Pirelli World Challenge, and, of course, Formula 1 are just a few of the world-famous racing events that zoom into town each year.

For those of us (read: the author of this article) who need a refresher on the difference between F1 and IndyCar, the main differences are the car and the track used. 

While F1 cars use high-octane gas, IndyCars pump ethanol and are much more difficult to stop than their F1 counterparts. IndyCars race on oval tracks, with the occasional street track thrown in for good measure, whereas F1 never uses an oval track; instead it uses a designed raceway.

The Austin race — IndyCar's first time in the Capital City — will be the second in the 2019 series. The schedule begins in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 10 and culminates in the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26. 

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