Kentucky To Be Included In Espn2, Espn International Coverage Of New Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series
All seven events of the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series will be broadcast on ESPN2 in the United States and distributed worldwide through ESPN International. The Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series will make its first appearance at Kentucky Speedway on Sunday, August 11, prior to the Indy Racing League "Belterra Casino Indy 300."
The new series will be featured during 30-minute shows produced by IMS Productions and hosted by veteran Indy Racing broadcaster Mike King. Shows will feature race coverage and unique profiles of Infiniti Pro Series drivers and teams. Broadcast dates and times will be announced when available.
"ESPN has chosen to partner with the Indy Racing League as the future of open-wheel racing in the United States," said Burke Magnus, ESPN director, programming and acquisitions. "We intend to be full partners in making certain that Indy Racing remains the leading American open-wheel series in the future. This program and our contract extension through 2007 signed last September underscores our belief in the additional future growth potential of the Indy Racing League."
The inaugural season of the Infiniti Pro Series will begin July 7 at Kansas Speedway and culminate with the Sept. 14 season finale at Texas Motor Speedway. Nashville Superspeedway, Michigan International Speedway, Gateway International Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway also will play host to Infiniti Pro Series events in 2002.
The 100-mile Infiniti Pro Series "sprints" will take place at the same track and on the same day as Indy Racing League events except for the Texas race, which will take place the day before the IRL's season-ending Chevy 500.
"With drivers competing in identical Dallara chassis powered by Infiniti engines and fitted with Firestone Firehawk tires, the Infiniti Pro Series will produce some incredibly exciting racing," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Infiniti Pro Series. "These shows will not only capture that excitement, but they will also provide valuable exposure for drivers, sponsors and teams.
"Any good series has great characters involved. Our relationship with ESPN will allow us to introduce those characters - the Indy Racing League stars of tomorrow - to an enormous worldwide television audience," he added.
Infiniti Q45 engines will power new Dallara Automobili chassis built for the series, with Firestone Firehawk tires used exclusively on all cars. The V8 engines will produce approximately 450 horsepower for the single-seat winged chassis, providing an ideal training ground for the 650-horsepower, single-seat winged cars of the Indy Racing League.
Ashleigh Higgins of indyracing.com contributed to this story.