At 2.38 miles, with a host of elevation changes and a number of tight corners, Sonoma Raceway is one of the more challenging courses the IZOD IndyCar Series faces.
Brembo outlines the brake facts before each race. For the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. EST, Sunday, NBCSN), Turn 7, a 180-degree right-hand hairpin at the end of the fastest straight on the track, is one of the tightest turns the series faces all year. From an estimated initial speed of 158 mph, if not faster, cars need to slow to 44 mph within a 361-foot distance in 2.74 seconds. The maximum decleration carries 3.65 G’s on entry.
The two other toughest corners at Sonoma from a braking standpoint are Turns 9 and 11. Turn 9, the right-left chicane complex, sees the cars enter at 160 mph and slow to 63 within 292 feet in 2.02 seconds, at 4.29 G’s. At Turn 11, the final right-hander leading onto the front straight, initial speed of 145 goes down to 53 in 246 feet, in 1.89 seconds.
Time gained and lost on braking entering a corner can play a pivotal role in Saturday’s qualifying session, and also in Sunday’s race when it comes to overtaking opportunities.