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Indy Lights set for return to Detroit in 2021 Road to Indy calendar

by Ida Wood

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Road to Indy has unveiled a 10-round calendar for its three series next year, with the noticable omission of the Freedom 100 from the Indy Lights schedule.

The coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of Indy Lights’ 2020 season, and it returns next year with a visit to the streets of Detroit for the first time since 2012.

All of Indy Lights’ rounds will feature two races, with official pre-season testing taking place at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Feburary 24 and with pre-event tests organised for the rounds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, Road America, Mid-Ohio, Portland and the Gateway oval (where Indy Pro 2000 will also be present).

There is no sign of the Indianapolis 500-supporting Freedom 100 on the Indianapolis oval, which had run in every season since 2003 prior to this year’s pandemic. The calendar’s 10th round is to be announced shortly, although with it already being confirmed to be a two-race event it is unlikely to be taking place at Indianapolis.

The scholarship for winning the title has been increased to $1,289,425 for entry into at least three 2022 IndyCar rounds including the Indy 500, and the top three in the points will all get a free post-season test with an IndyCar team.

IP2000 and USF2000 have also had their scholarship prizes increased for 2021, with the IP2000 champion winning $718,065 to graduate to Indy Lights with, and the USF2000 champion recieving $401,305 so they can step up to IP2000.

Rather than support IndyCar at Detroit, Portland and Laguna Seca, the lower two rungs will instead be present at Barber Motorsports Park, and will have two standalone events at the Lucas Oil Raceway oval and New Jersey Motorsports Park – which made a popular return in the shaken-up 2020 calendar.

IP2000 and USF2000 will hold triple-header meetings at Indianapolis and New Jersey, with USF200 also running three races at Mid-Ohio.

2021 Road to Indy schedule
Series Circuit Date
IL/IP2000/USF2000 St. Petersburg March 6/7
IP2000/USF2000 Barber Motorsports Park April 10/11
IL/IP2000/USF2000 Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 14/15
IP2000/USF2000 Lucas Oil Raceway May 28
IL Detroit June 12/13
IL/IP2000/USF2000 Road America June 19/20
IL/IP2000/USF2000 Mid-Ohio July 3/4
IL/IP2000/USF2000 Toronto July 10/11
IL/IP2000 Gateway August 20/21
IP2000/USF2000 New Jersey Motorsports Park August 28/29
IL Portland September 11/12
IL Laguna Seca September 18/19