IndyCar heads to road courses
On the way to South-Central New York for the Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, five IZOD IndyCar Series teams will stop off June 30 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a road course refresher.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by Westfield Insurance on Aug. 8 at the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio course is the fourth in a five-race road/street/airport circuit stretch that commences July 4 at Watkins Glen International. Teams are coming off four consecutive oval events.
“For us, it’s a good opportunity,” said Vitor Meira, who recorded a seventh-place finish June 20 at Iowa Speedway in the No. 14 ABC Supply car for A.J. Foyt Racing. “We don’t get to test very much and in a season you have to pick your fights. It’s hard to focus on one; there are so many – road courses, street courses, ovals big and small -- there’s always room to improve.
“Where we think we have more to improve on is road courses. That’s why we’re going to Mid-Ohio. We’re testing before we go to Watkins Glen and before Mid-Ohio and Infineon so we’ll have the benefit of that day for many races.”
Meira is scheduled to be joined by IZOD IndyCar Series points leader Will Power, Helio Castroneves and Ryan Briscoe of Team Penske; Alex Lloyd and Milka Duno of Dale Coyne Racing; Raphael Matos of de Ferran Dragon Racing; and Adam Carroll, who will be undergoing his road course rookie test in anticipation of making his series debut with Andretti Autosport at The Glen.
Additionally, Dreyer & Reinbold’s Justin Wilson was scheduled to get in laps on the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway oval (weather permitting) on June 22-23 and Target Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti are scheduled to test at Sebring International Raceway on June 28.
“We haven’t tested on an oval yet; we’ve just gone from race to race and there’s a limited amount you can do on a race weekend,” said Wilson, driver of the No. 24 Z-Line Designs car. “We just wanted to go there and learn some things. Once we get into the road courses in the second part of the season you don’t want to change the car back, so it just fits in really well to do it now. ”
Because of the cancelation of the Open Test at Kentucky Speedway on May 4, each full-season entrant has been granted an additional test day on a 1.5-mile oval at their discretion. They’ll receive three sets of Firestone Firehawks.