Three days after the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, IZOD IndyCar Series tire manufacturer Firestone will conduct a test this coming Wednesday at Pocono (Penn.) Raceway in order to determine what they’ll be bringing for the series’ debut there on July 7.
According to The Morning Call of Allentown, Penn., Marco Andretti of Andretti Autosport, Dario Franchitti of Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Simon Pagenaud of Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports, and Will Power of Team Penske will all take part in the session — which is free and open to the public. The Morning Call advises fans to enter the parking lots through Pocono’s Gate No. 5 at Andretti Road, and to bring their own coolers since concession stands will not be open for the test.
The current track record at Pocono sits at 211.715 miles per hour, which was posted in qualifying for the 1989 CART race by Emerson Fittipaldi. That race, won by Danny Sullivan, was the last open-wheel event to date at “The Tricky Triangle,” which was added to the 2013 IndyCar schedule last October.
Pocono’s 400-mile race in July will make up part of the Triple Crown alongside the Indianapolis 500 and the season-ending MAV TV 500 at Auto Club Speedway.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.