U.S.-based Dallara IndyCar simulator under construction

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Last summer, NBCSN’s Jan Beekhuis gave viewers a look inside Dallara’s Italian headquarters, which includes a state-of-the-art simulator used regularly by IndyCar Series teams.

But now, a second simulator is being constructed at the IndyCar chassis manufacturer’s outpost in Speedway, Indiana, a stone’s throw from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

According to the series, the American simulator will be fully operational by the end of April, just in time for the Indianapolis 500. However, it already has the reconfigured IMS road course – site for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10 – available for teams to test out potential set-ups for that race.

Per Dallara testing manager Alessandro Moroni, both the American and Italian simulators will be linked together, although newer technology will make the American one more powerful. The simulator figures to be primarily used for racing purposes, but Dallara hopes to use it for other means as well.

“Automotive and tire manufacturers – any kind of simulation,” Dallara USA CEO Stefano DePonti told IndyCar.com. “I also have in mind simulations with police departments for training, such as car chases.

“…You can test a new component with accuracy and less expense than real testing. You get aware by using the simulator; if I use it for this, maybe I can use it for this other aspect.”

Last May, a $1.15 million grant from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation was given to the motorsports engineering program at the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology inside Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis.

The school has a research partnership with Dallara, and through that grant, funding was found to create and operate the new simulator.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.