–by Mark Cipolloni–
The repaving of the 4-mile Road America circuit has resulted in blazing test times by the IndyCar drivers who tested there this week.
That leads me to predict that the 23-year old qualifying lap record set by Dario Franchitti in his Honda-powered CART IndyCar of 1m39.866s (145.924s) will finally fall when the IndyCars qualify at Road America later this month.
For 22 years, try as they might, the lame current day IndyCars have been unable to break the record set by Franchitti back in 2000. That should finally change this year because the repaved track is producing fast lap times.
As shown in this AutoRacing1.com article, Pato O’Ward turned a lap of 1m40.72s today at Road America, less than 1-sec. slower than Franchitti’s lap record.
Of course, Franchitti did not have soft Firestone tires to qualify with back in 2000, there was only one compound available. If he did, the record would still be out of reach.
I suspect when more rubber goes down at Road America, and the IndyCar drivers slap on the soft compound tires in qualifying on June 17th, the 23-year-old lap record will finally fall.