It’s about time to fire up the engines on the 2011 North American Open Wheel Racing season as the IndyCar Series kicks off its season this weekend in St. Petersburg, Florida. Every race of the 2011 season will be seen live or on delay on TSN or TSN2. Five of the races will also be seen on ABC. The rest of the races will be produced by Versus.
The highlights on the IndyCar calendar for 2011 include the Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 17), the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 (May 29), the Indy Toronto (July 10), Edmonton Indy (July 24) and the World Championship at Las Vegas to finish the season on October 16. In addition to the new race at Las Vegas, races in New Hampshire and Baltimore have been added for this season. Two races will take place outside of North America in Brazil and Japan.
Two time defending IndyCar Series champ Dario Franchitti returns to defend his title this season. The Canadian contingent is formed by Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani.
The ABC broadcast team will be comprised of Marty Reid and Scott Goodyear in the booth. Andy Cheever will join them for the Indianapolis 500 and the World Championship in Las Vegas. Vince Welch, Rick Debruhl and Jamie Little will report from the pits. Jerry Punch will also be a pit reporter for the Indianapolis 500.
A re-vamped Versus broadcast crew will consist of Bob Jenkins, Jon Beekhuis and Wally Dallenbach in the broadcast booth. Lindy Thackston, Kevin Lee and Marty Snider will report from the pits. Robbie Floyd will fill in for Snider when he has NASCAR on TNT duty in June and July. Beginning this year NBC has named a completely new production crew for IndyCar on Versus broadcasts.