IndyCar drivers encouraged by Sears Point track changes following pre-race test

Sears Point's recent track revisions met with a positive response as IndyCar drivers tested at the Californian circuit ahead of next weekend's race

IndyCar drivers encouraged by Sears Point track changes following pre-race test

As revealed by AUTOSPORT, Turns 7, 9 and 11 were all remodelled in the hope of increasing overtaking opportunities following consultation with drivers, officials and team bosses.

While the test was not run with official timing, it did at least allow drivers to acclimatise to the new layout, which earned positive appraisals.

Penske's Will Power, among the day's fastest runners according to lap times provided by engine manufacturers, predicted the track revisions would have the desired effect of encouraging passing.

"I think the track is definitely going to promote more passing in Turn 7," the current championship leader said.

"The passing zone in (Turn) 7 is the best one, but if they changed Turn 11 to modify the exit curbs a bit it could be good, as well, but good changes, for sure."

"It was almost like learning a new track," Dario Franchitti opined. The Scot, who was slightly slower than team-mate Scott Dixon - who matched Power's time - added: "It's just three new corners and it's actually quite different from what we're used to running, but any time you can get track time with this new car it's valuable."

Rahal Letterman's Takuma Sato, whose testing programme ended early when he hit the wall under braking at Turn 9, was also enthusiastic about the changes.

"We couldn't complete the testing items but we were able to get more experience and collect valuable data today," he explained. "The area after the high speed Turn 6 and braking into Turn 7 is much tighter than last year and it seems that a good braking battle can go on there.

"Turn 11, which is the very last corner can still be improved a bit. There was a question whether the corner was too tight and they already got rid of some rumble strips today during the test so the track changed from this morning to the afternoon."

The test also gave Charlie Kimball a chance to return to the cockpit, the Ganassi man having been forced to miss Mid-Ohio with a hand injury suffered in testing. He was given medical clearance to race earlier this week.

shares
comments
IndyCar drivers to get extra practice time at Sears Point

Previous article

IndyCar drivers to get extra practice time at Sears Point

Next article

IndyCar adjusts push-to-pass for Sears Point

IndyCar adjusts push-to-pass for Sears Point
Load comments

About this article

Series IndyCar
The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed Plus

The Indycar season that proves Michael Andretti is better than F1 showed

Often unfairly characterised as a car-breaker, judged for his lack of an Indianapolis 500 win and a disappointing part-season of Formula 1 in 1993, Michael Andretti was highly respected by his rivals and only thwarted greater success by ill-fortune. When it all came together in 1991, he was a truly formidable force

IndyCar
Mar 6, 2021
How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite Plus

How McLaren is striving towards IndyCar's elite

The second year of McLaren's full-time IndyCar return is looming, with Patricio O'Ward and Felix Rosenqvist leading its line-up. Strong team personnel and work behind the scenes means that 2021 could be the year it joins the established elite

IndyCar
Feb 21, 2021
The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart Plus

The enigmatic legacy of a misunderstood Indy stalwart

Flashes of brilliance amid spells of obscurity have been too common for Marco Andretti. While the third-generation racer has opted to bring his full-time IndyCar career to a close, his peaks and troughs have never been for want of trying

IndyCar
Jan 20, 2021
Why American racing's top dog is without equal Plus

Why American racing's top dog is without equal

A byword for success in business and in motorsport for over 50 years, Roger Penske's importance to the US scene cannot be understated. In an exclusive interview, the custodian of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway reflects on his journey

IndyCar
Jan 11, 2021
The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete Plus

The McLaren that rendered its Indy rivals obsolete

When founder Bruce McLaren died in June 1970, his team could have folded. Instead, his loyal band rallied to produce a string of winners - including an Indycar game-changer that won its third Indianapolis 500 five years after its debut

IndyCar
Dec 22, 2020
Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough Plus

Why Newgarden's best IndyCar season yet wasn't enough

Josef Newgarden feels he didn't put a foot wrong in 2020, yet his finest season-long run of performances failed to yield a third series championship. But in a warning shot to Scott Dixon, Team Penske's team leader has vowed to redouble his efforts in 2021

IndyCar
Dec 21, 2020
How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season Plus

How Dixon held on in IndyCar's most unpredictable season

Three wins on the trot gave the Chip Ganassi Racing superstar the cushion he needed to hang on for a sixth title in the face of Josef Newgarden's late challenge. Here's the rundown of a typically frantic IndyCar campaign in an extraordinary year

IndyCar
Nov 28, 2020
The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy Plus

The balancing act required for improving racing at Indy

Calls for an improvement in the racing spectacle at the Indianapolis 500 have been met with small aerodynamic tweaks from IndyCar on superspeedways. But where such high speeds are involved, even minor adjustments require significant planning

IndyCar
Oct 31, 2020