Eighteen races over 15 event weekends highlight the 2014 IndyCar Series schedule announced today.

The schedule includes a new event, the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on a 2.343-mile, 14-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 10, in addition to the return of doubleheaders at Detroit, Houston and Toronto.

Missing from the schedule in 2014 are the events in Baltimore and Sao Paulo, Brazil. The schedule is also tighter next year than in years past, with the season ending nearly two months earlier next year than in 2013.

The most diverse schedule in motorsports includes events on technically challenging road and street courses, short ovals and superspeedways that is sure to deliver another exciting year of competition. Race distances, times and network television schedules will be announced at a later date.

“The World’s Fastest Spring Break Party,” on the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg (Fla.) street circuit kicks off the season for the fourth year in a row on Sunday, March 30. Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., will host the season finale Saturday, Aug. 30, for the third consecutive year.

“The 2014 schedule reflects a more condensed North American calendar to increase the consistency with our race weekends,” said Mark Miles, CEO, Hulman & Co., the parent company of IndyCar. “We’ll be building momentum throughout the season toward crowning our champion on Labor Day weekend.”

Miles added that the street course race in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has been contested the past four years, may return in 2014 but is not part of the schedule now.

Jump-starting the Month of May activities at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on Saturday, May 10, on a reconfigured road course currently undergoing $5 million in improvements that will utilize portions of the famous 2.5-mile oval. The Speedway will be open Sunday, May 11, for Indianapolis 500 practice.

The 98th Running of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race is scheduled for Sunday, May 25. Qualifying weekend is scheduled for Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18.

“We’re excited about the new month of May at IMS and our first Grand Prix of Indianapolis,” Miles said. “Many people want to see more of our racing, and we’re putting some of it on our most iconic stage and building toward the 500. We want to use the strength of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the 500 to leverage value for the IndyCar Series and vice versa.”

Full-points doubleheader races on the Belle Isle, Houston and Toronto street courses return for a second year after producing scintillating action and championship-defining results. The event on the 1.634-mile, 10-turn temporary circuit at Reliant Park in Houston moves from early October to late June, which bundles the doubleheaders into a two-month span.

The annual night race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 7, separates the Detroit and Houston dates. The second IndyCar Series race at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway on Sunday, July 6, followed by a night race at the .875-mile Iowa Speedway on Saturday, July 12, bisect Houston and the doubleheader on the Exhibition Place circuit in Toronto. The span represents racing on four consecutive weekends.

Additionally, the Milwaukee race has been moved from mid-June to Sunday, Aug. 17, while the fifth annual race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., has taken a date two weeks later to Saturday, April 26.

Four road and street course races will start the season, while the drive to the championship in August includes road course races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Sonoma Raceway, the race on the one-mile Milwaukee oval and the closing race on the two-mile Auto Club Speedway oval.

“With the most diverse calendar in all of motorsports, we want the build-up to the championship to reflect our versatility by featuring a short oval, a road course and superspeedway in the final three consecutive weekends of our schedule to highlight the talent of our drivers,” said Miles.

2014 IndyCar Series Schedule

Date – Track – Location

March 30 – Streets of St. Petersburg – St. Petersburg, Fla.

April 13 – Streets of Long Beach – Long Beach, Calif.

April 26 – Barber Motorsports Park – Leeds, Ala.

May 10 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) – Speedway, Ind.

May 25 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Indy 500) – Speedway, Ind.

May 31-June 1 – Belle Isle Park – Detroit, Mich.

June 7 – Texas Motor Speedway – Fort Worth, Texas

June 28-29 – Reliant Park – Houston, Texas

July 6 – Pocono Raceway – Long Pond, Pa.

July 12 – Iowa Speedway – Newton, Iowa

July 19-20 – Exhibition Place – Toronto, Ontario

Aug. 3 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Lexington, Ohio

Aug. 24 – Sonoma Raceway – Sonoma, Calif.

Aug. 30 – Auto Club Speedway – Fontana, Calif.