IndyCar racers reckon return to Pocono will be spectacular after test
|By Mark Glendenning||Wednesday, June 26th 2013, 12:56 GMT|
IndyCar drivers expect a tough race when the series returns to Pocono next weekend after several had the opportunity to test at the famed tri-oval on Tuesday.
Fourteen drivers from eight teams were on hand to run on the 2.5 mile oval, and Indianapolis 500 polesitter Ed Carpenter said that he liked what he found.
"Turn 1 is a beast in the IndyCar," Carpenter said. "It's going to be a fun corner to drive in the race, and I think the fans will enjoy watching it.
"It's definitely different than any place I've ever been to. We were trying to compare it to places we've been in the past, and it reminds me of Phoenix a little bit. It's its own animal."
Sarah Fisher Hartman's Josef Newgarden was also impressed by his first laps of the track.
"Pocono is pretty incredible," he said. "I've never been to an oval like this. It's a challenge and unlike anywhere we've been.
"It almost combines a bunch of ovals. You have one corner that's like Milwaukee. Another corner that's like Kentucky and one like Road America with a kink-like corner. It's very unique and very difficult to get right."
FIRST INDYCAR RACE SINCE 1989
Some drivers, including Penske duo Helio Castroneves and Will Power, had visited the track previously, but points leader Castroneves said that it was still valuable to get some extra time on the circuit ahead of the race.
"It's always good to be out there," he said. "It doesn't matter if it's today or next week. We're always learning things that can help us. There aren't 20 cars here, but it gives you the knowledge of where to start for the race weekend. It's a good opportunity."
Also present were Andretti Autosport quartet Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe and EJ Viso, Panther's Ryan Briscoe, KV Racing Technology's Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro, Dragon's Sebastian Saavedra, and Rahal Letterman Lanigan's Graham Rahal and James Jakes.
Next week's race, which will mark IndyCar's first visit to the track since 1989, will serve as the second event in this season's Triple Crown.
Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan will claim a $1m bonus if he can also win at Pocono and Fontana, while a driver who wins two of the three races will earn $250,000.
An open test is scheduled at the track on July 4.