The new IRP Road Course

The new IRP Road Course

Postby meteorite » Fri May 02, 2014 9:21 pm

OK, kiddies are always quite excited when they get a new toy. And after about a year of waiting, the Indycar circus finally got a chance to turn a few laps on the new Indianapolis Raceway Park thoroughly revised and rebuilt infield road course. Quotes collected and edited by the company flacks traditionally may or may not reflect the true reactions of the people quoted, so I will omit them here.

But for what it's worth, Indycar PR did not seem to have any problems rounding up a full slate of star drivers quite willing to be quoted, and the choice of words, phrases and observations did seem to reflect a very genuine level of enthusiasm for the new track, and everyone seemed quite eager to have at it in true competition. They will get their wish on May 10th, just a few days along now, and it should be pretty interesting. I'll be eager to see how it works.

So here's the official word:

Modified Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course Draws Rave Reviews

at Verizon IndyCar Series Open Test

INDIANAPOLIS (Wednesday, April 30, 2014) - Reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Tony Kanaan turned the ceremonial first lap of the new 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, but he was quickly was joined by 24 other eager Verizon IndyCar Series drivers during an Open Test.

It didn't faze the drivers that they were crossing the Yard of Bricks on the front straight in a clockwise direction.

"Driving the car it doesn't feel strange because you're focused on hitting your marks. But every time I'm on pit lane and looking at the cars going out it just doesn't look right," said Ryan Briscoe, who was second quickest overall at 1 minute, 9.6558 seconds in the No. 8 NTT Data car for Ganassi Racing. "It's just a lot of fun to drive and fun to be learning a new track."

Five hours of track time provided drivers and teams an opportunity to get a baseline for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis practice sessions May 8, when lap times will be considerably more crucial. The three rounds of qualifications are May 9 and the standing start for the 82-lap race is at 3:43 p.m. (ET) May 10.

Less than 24 hours later is the initial practice for the 98th Indianapolis 500 - in a counter-clockwise direction on the 2.5-mile oval.

Reigning series champion Scott Dixon jumped to the top of the time chart on the last of his 46 laps in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing car at 1:09.5969, while Simon Pagenaud was third (1:09.7544) in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car and posted the most laps (57). Three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves (1:10.0209) was fourth in the No. 3 Verizon Team Penske car, and Ryan Hunter-Reay (1:10.0237) was fifth in the No. 28 DHL car for Andretti Autosport.

The top 19 cars were separated by less than a second.

Will Power, the pole sitter three days earlier for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car, topped the morning session time chart at 1:11.2128 seconds as teams and drivers made multiple car adjustments to pair with the hardest compound of Firestone primary tires (also to be used at Mid-Ohio in August). The alternate red tires, which trade more grip for quicker degradation, will be available for race weekend.

The new track received high marks for its flow and racability, which will be enhanced when more tire rubber is laid in the turns. Section times included 196 mph down the front straight into the sharp right-hand Turn 1 and 184 mph on the Hulman Boulevard straight entering the left-hand Turn 7.

"Passing is going to be really good because the brake zones are so big and heavy," Briscoe said. "Turn 1 and down the Hulman Boulevard straight into Turn 7 will be big passing zones. You come out of Turn 4, sort of a medium-speed corner, and then flat out through a chicane going up through the gears almost as fast as the front straight into another big brake zone. You have those two corners and overall it's really fast and flowing and lots of changes of direction."

Originally laid out for the Formula One race from 200-07, the road course underwent a $5 million reconfiguration and infrastructure upgrade that includes new viewing mounds for spectators looking over the oval Turn 2. Hundreds utilized the vantage spots during the test day under mostly cloudy skies.

The test marked the first time that Justin Wilson made clockwise laps at the facility since his 2003 Formula One appearance when he finished eighth for Jaguar Grand Prix.

"It's a challenging track, trying to get the power down and get the entries just right," said Wilson, driving the No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing entry. "I think this new track is going to be a lot better. The corners leading into the back straight give you a lot of options and so does the corner leading into the front straight, so you can definitely try and set something up and the straights are long enough that you can definitely make something happen."

Added Hunter-Reay, the race winner at Barber Motorsports Park: "I'm really excited about the course; it's a lot of fun in the race car. Big, long straights leading to tight corners will lead to plenty of passing. I think it's going to make for a great show."

For comparison, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (Mosport) is almost exactly the same lengh and also has 14 corners. But it has much more in the way of changes of elevation. But unless someone pulls the plug on the Toronto Indy, it will be a long time before we see any comparative lap times for Indy cars.
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Re: The new IRP Road Course

Postby meteorite » Sun May 11, 2014 12:00 am

And here's the official word on what happened:


INDIANAPOLIS (Saturday, May 10, 2014) - Simon Pagenaud had just enough fuel left to make history, winning the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

Pagenaud, who started fourth in the No. 77 Schmidt Peterson Hamilton Motorsports car, held off Ryan Hunter-Reay by .8906 of a second for his third career Verizon IndyCar Series victory and a charging Helio Castroneves, who was celebrating his 39th birthday, by 1.8244 seconds.

Like Pagenaud, Hunter-Reay's No. 28 DHL car was starved for fuel after completing 28 laps. Castroneves, who started 10th in the No. 3 Verizon Team Penske car, had plenty of fuel and was closing in the final laps, but couldn't get around Hunter-Reay.

Hunter-Reay finished second, followed by Castroneves, Sebastien Bourdais and Charlie Kimball.

Oriol Servia was leading with five laps to go but had to pit before he ran out of fuel. That handed the lead to Pagenaud, who also was at risk of running short.

The start was marred by a massive crash when polesitter Sebastian Saavedra stalled and was hit hard in the rear by the cars of Carlos Munoz and Mikhail Aleshin.

There were 12 lead changes, and Pagenaud inherited the point for the duration on Lap 78 when Oriol Servia had to make a fuel stop. He led Hunter-Reay across the line by 2.8 seconds on Lap 80 and coaxed the Honda-powered car to navigate the final laps without incident or stalling.

Both Hunter-Reay and Pagenaud gained on championship points leader Will Power, who started fifth in the No. 12 Verizon Team Penske car and placed a season-low eighth. Power (149) leads Hunter-Reay by one point and Pagenaud by six heading into the points-laden Indianapolis 500 on May 25.


Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe was discharged from IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after being evaluated and having a CT scan of his head and neck.

INDYCAR Medical Director Dr. Michael Olinger said Hinchcliffe was diagnosed with a concussion. The driver of the No. 27 United Fiber & Data car for Andretti Autosport will be re-evaluated by Olinger and INDYCAR medical consultants before being cleared to drive. He appeared to have been hit by some flying track debris but got off course safely.

Verizon IndyCar Series
Grand Prix of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS - Results Saturday of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis Verizon IndyCar Series event on the 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, with order of finish, starting position in parentheses, driver, chassis-engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (4) Simon Pagenaud, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
2. (3) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
3. (10) Helio Castroneves, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
4. (7) Sebastien Bourdais, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
5. (23) Charlie Kimball, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
6. (14) Ryan Briscoe, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
7. (2) Jack Hawksworth, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
8. (5) Will Power, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
9. (16) Takuma Sato, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
10. (9) Tony Kanaan, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
11. (18) Justin Wilson, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
12. (22) Oriol Servia, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
13. (17) Carlos Huertas, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
14. (13) Marco Andretti, Dallara-Honda, 82, Running
15. (6) Scott Dixon, Dallara-Chevy, 82, Running
16. (8) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dallara-Chevy, 81, Running
17. (15) Josef Newgarden, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
18. (20) Martin Plowman, Dallara-Honda, 80, Running
19. (24) Mike Conway, Dallara-Chevy, 58, Mechanical
20. (11) James Hinchcliffe, Dallara-Honda, 56, Contact
21. (12) Graham Rahal, Dallara-Honda, 50, Contact
22. (21) Franck Montagny, Dallara-Honda, 47, Contact
23. (19) Carlos Munoz, Dallara-Honda, 0, Contact
24. (1) Sebastian Saavedra, Dallara-Chevy, 0, Contact
25. (25) Mikhail Aleshin, Dallara-Honda, 0, Contact
Race Statistics
Winners average speed: 96.462
Time of Race: 02:04:24.0261
Margin of victory: 0.8906 of a second
Cautions: 4 for 19 laps
Lead changes: 12 among 8 drivers

Lap Leaders:
Hunter-Reay 1-9
Hawksworth 10 - 27
Hunter-Reay 28
Wilson 29 - 30
Hawksworth 31 - 43
Pagenaud 44
Hunter-Reay 45 -51
Wilson 52 - 53
Hunter-Reay 54
Castroneves 55 - 69
Bourdais 70
Servia 71 - 77
Pagenaud 78 - 82

Point Standings:
Power 149, Hunter-Reay 148, Pagenaud 143, Castroneves 102, Dixon 102, Conway 93, Andretti 89, Wison 87, Kanaan 82, Bourdais 80.
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