New Indy Lights car performs first full test day at Mid-Ohio (VIDEO)

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Following a shakedown at Putnam Park in Indiana last week by Conor Daly (see below), the new Dallara IL15 Indy Lights car had its first proper run Monday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Daly was slated to drive once more on Monday but had to leave due to a sponsor commitment in Miami.

That left testing duties to Tristan Vautier, the 2013 Verizon IndyCar Series Rookie-of-the-Year, who’s been busy between Road To Indy TV work, Mazda LMP2 prototype racing and sports car racing this season.

Vautier got out early and began cranking off laps. Here was his pace after early runs:

The Frenchman put the new car through its paces and by the end of the day after 85 laps, got down to an unofficial best lap of 1:13.4 around the 2.258-mile road course, a time already half a second better than the pole time for this weekend’s pair of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races.

Here’s Vautier’s recap of the day, to Anders Krohn for R2ITV – Krohn is also the analyst for NBCSN’s Indy Lights race coverage.

Interest and discussion was high regarding the new Indy Lights chassis this weekend; the road course version of the car arrived on Sunday while the oval version show car was on display all weekend.

MotorSportsTalk has learned of at least one potential new entrant to the series, and potentially a current team on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder looking to purchase the new chassis. No formal announcement has been made by Andersen Promotions – the series promoters – regarding the number of chassis sold or number of teams interested.

But I did speak to Daly during the weekend, who hailed the car’s pace and ability. Here was Daly’s video of the car going past:

“This thing has a proper turbo sound and feel to it,” Daly said. “It’s going to be really cool to see how this car develops.”

Indeed along with the other news and notes on the IndyCar side, following the Indy Lights car and silly season development this winter is also going to be interesting to watch.

Make sure to follow all of Friday’s Indy 500 ‘Carb Day’ action on NBCSN from Indianapolis

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It’s known as “Carburetor Day” – or in its simplest term, just “Carb Day.”

But the final day of on-track action Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500 is so much more.

Especially on NBCSN, which will have wall-to-wall live coverage starting Friday morning.

Here’s how Friday’s schedule breaks down:

  • 11 a.m. ET: Carb Day kicks off with the final practice for Sunday’s Indy 500. The session will last one hour in length.
  • 12 p.m. ET: We’re going racing! Strap in for coverage of the Indy Lights’ Freedom 100 on the famous Brickyard.
  • 1:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have coverage of the annual IndyCar Pit Stop Challenge. Which teams have the best – and most importantly, fastest and accurate – pit crews? Team Penske has won 10 of the last 12, including the last two years edging out Schmidt Peterson Motorsports each time. Who can potentially beat them this year?
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: We’ll have our annual Motorsports Special. Among segments included will be:

    1) 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi will discuss how it used to upset him when people suggested he “backed into” his big win and how he didn’t really feel vindicated until he qualified on the front row for last year’s race.
    2) Defending 500 winner Takuma Sato, the first Japanese driver to ever win at Indianapolis, discusses the impact of his big win personally and professionally, particularly back in his native land.
    3) An essay by Robin Miller on Stefan Wilson giving up his ride last year to allow Fernando Alonso to race for Andretti Autosport.

Check your local listings for replay times.

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