With Pocono Raceway coming up next on the schedule, a majority of the IZOD IndyCar Series teams are taking the opportunity to test there on Tuesday afternoon.
The test, which is closed to the public, will see eight teams and 15 drivers turning laps around the 2.5-mile “Tricky Triangle” in Pennsylvania. Two of those drivers, Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti and Team Penske’s Will Power, were part of an earlier test there in April (pictured) that focused on tires and setting the proper aero package.
Here’s the list of competitors that will be at Pocono on Tuesday seeking to gain an early edge for the Pocono INDYCAR 400 on July 7:
- ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT: Ryan Hunter-Reay, EJ Viso, James Hinchcliffe, Marco Andretti
- DRAGON RACING: Sebastian Saavedra and Sebastien Bourdais
- ED CARPENTER RACING: Ed Carpenter
- PANTHER RACING: Ryan Briscoe
- KV RACING TECHNOLOGY: Tony Kanaan and Simona de Silvestro
- RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN: Graham Rahal and James Jakes
- SARAH FISHER HARTMAN RACING: Josef Newgarden
- TEAM PENSKE: Helio Castroneves and Will Power
Tuesday will also see Dale Coyne Racing’s Justin Wilson testing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which will welcome the series on Aug. 4 with the Honda Indy 200. As for the Chip Ganassi Racing contingent, the “Team Target” duo of Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon, as well as American pilot Charlie Kimball, will all be testing Wednesday down at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.
After the Pocono sessions, Power himself will head to Michigan for a straight-line test on Wednesday at General Motors’ proving grounds.
The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.
With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.
Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.
With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.
“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!
“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”
Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.
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