Verizon INDYCAR Series
Lots of Testing Set-Up Ahead of 2018
With a brand new universal aero kit set to debut in the Verizon IndyCar Series next season, it wasn’t going to surprise anybody if the teams were out testing as much as possible. It’s why the sanctioning body has laid out guidelines for them to follow, giving them the allotted time.
The guidelines were created in partnership with the teams and manufacturers to provide a fair playing field across the board, whether pre-season or once the year has started.
The calendar will see teams able to start testing as of Monday through March 29. Then the in-season window will go from March 30 to September 16.
Four days have been set as open-test and do not count against the other regulations – Feb. 9-10, Phoenix Raceway; March 20, Barber Motorsports Park; and March 27, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Additionally, teams are not allowed to test Nov. 20-27, 2017; Dec. 16, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018; and within seven days of the start of any on-track activity for a race event (i.e., if the first practice of a race weekend is on a Friday, testing must be completed by the Thursday of the week prior) within the regulations.
According to the series, each team will be allotted five team test days, three off-season and two in-season. Additionally, if there is a rookie driver, then the organization is allowed three additional days – one off-season and two in-season. For brand new teams, they are allowed two additional test days – one in-season, and one off-season.
Like other years, any team running the full schedule may schedule an additional off-season day to test a current Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires driver. Also, any organization fielding both an full-time IndyCar and Indy Lights team, is granted an additional in-season test.
While Monday sees the off-season window open, teams are not allowed to being using their days until January 8. This was done to give Dallara enough time to prepare and deliver all the aero kits across the board.
The regulations will also extend to the manufacturers, as well.
Chevrolet and Honda are allowed five days of testing up until December 17 to test the universal aero kit, with no more than two cars permitted each date. Notably, the manufacturer is not required to have non-testing teams or the other manufacturer on hand for these. One of the days for each has been scheduled by the series, though, as Chevrolet will test at Phoenix Raceway on Oct. 17 and Honda at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 23.
The engine manufacturers are also given the opportunity to conduct two days of off-season engine testing, and must allow their non-testing teams to attend those. Notably, the team elected to do the testing will not be charged one of their allotted days, but they are limited to only one test each.
Firestone, the tire manufacturer, has been given four test days – two off-season and two in-season, with two teams are each of those. All teams, including those providing the car, may be approved by INDYCAR to have one car participate in team testing to run concurrently with the test test. If a team is taking part in a tire test, it doesn’t count against their team test days.
Now, teams are allowed to test at any race location in the United States, except for street courses, as well as Auto Club Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Circuit of the Americas, Homestead-Miami Speedway (oval and road course), Kentucky Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Sebring International Raceway.