NTT INDYCAR Series
Three IndyCar Story Lines to Watch This Year
The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series brings three story lines to watch. Before the season starts let’s take a look:
After racing in Formula 1, Rossi will be racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series for Andretti Autosport. The 24-year-old boasts an impressive resume, winning the GP2 Series Vice-Championship last year while scoring 42 wins and 75 podiums in 209 Formula starts.
Rossi got his first taste during the rookie test at Sebring International Raceway last week.
“It’s been a positive day and a half, so far,” he commented. “The car is pretty similar to other things I’ve driven. There’s quite a bit of downforce, which is fun for a driver to have. At the end of the day, it’s an enjoyable car to drive, and I’m looking forward to racing it next week.”
Rossi’s transition will be interesting to watch, in seeing how quickly he gets up to speed on the road/street courses while racing on ovals for the first time.
Honda Changes to the Aerokits
Last season, Chevrolet dominated in race victories, scoring 10 of the 16 victories. Honda has gone to work on their aero kits during the off-season, making changes that were approved by series officials.
The first couple of races should give an indication whether those changes will make a difference, but notably, the Bowtie took six of the top-seven spots, with only Andretti’s Honda in fifth breaking them up.
Though while the aero kits are the reason stated thus far, it may be the teams associated with each brand. The top-two teams in the series, Team Penske and Chip Ganassi Racing, are under the Chevrolet banner.
Three New Tracks
Two races return to the calendar for the season, while the series also makes the first visit at another venue.
The series will make their first trip to the streets of Boston while returning to Phoenix International Raceway and Road America. The Verizon IndyCar Series made their last trip to Phoenix in 2005 while having only the Indy Lights Series race at Road America, with the last event occurring in 2007.
The additional venues allow the series to reach new markets while having a longer schedule that is five weeks longer than last season. The pay-off should be exciting racing across the whole season and ability to stay relevant in the eyes of the public eyes longer.
The series’ return to Phoenix International Raceway has already been a hit, based on driver’s comments during the test session last month.
“The track is a whole lot of fun,” Hinchcliffe commented. “This is a tough little place. It’s incredible how little time you have to think about anything around a lap here. It’s so flat out; you cannot let your concentration waver for even a fraction of a second. The back straight is not a straight. The front straight is the only chance you have, whether it’s to adjust your weight jack, your roll bars, whatever it is. You have about three and a half, four seconds to get it done over a lap. That’s exhausting.”
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