IndyCar Series announces course change at Infineon Raceway

Infineon Raceway

The IndyCar Series and Indy Pro Series will utilize a slightly modified road course when the series return to Infineon Raceway Aug. 22-24 for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma County.

On the 12-turn course, the cars will now exit Turn 6 and go directly onto the track's drag strip into Turn 7 instead of looping to the left on the road course.

"By staying on the drag strip and then heading back into the Esses, we create a harder braking area and thus a better passing zone going into Turn 7," said Brian Barnhart, president of the competition and operations divisions of the sanctioning Indy Racing League.

The new configuration, which will shorten a lap around the circuit from 2.26 miles to approximately 2.245 miles, was evaluated by IndyCar Series drivers Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay during a test last December in Sonoma.

"I think it's going to make an improvement for the race," said Dixon, who won the Motorola Indy 300 at the track in 2007. "Hopefully, it's going to create a passing opportunity for some people. I think it's a good choice and will make a great addition to the weekend."

"Eliminating the bend to the left and now going up the drag strip makes for a wider passing opportunity, and I think that's good," said Hunter-Reay. "Any passing opportunity is great for the series and good for the fans who come out and watch."

Since the IndyCar Series began competing at the facility in 2005, race winners include Dixon (2007), Marco Andretti (2006) and Tony Kanaan (2005).

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