Indy Lights official test date moved, for good reasoning: too much demand

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The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires first official test with the new Dallara IL15 chassis was scheduled for December 16-17 at Palm Beach International Raceway.

The series announced today the test date would be moved to January 13-14, but not for a negative reason.

It turns out the demand for new cars is so great – witness the official confirmation of Carlin Racing and Andretti Autosport’s entries this week – that engine manufacturer AER [Advanced Engine Research] requires more time to meet the demand for engines. Further driver announcements are expected during next week’s Performance Racing Industry [PRI] trade show in Indianapolis.

Teams can still use the Dec. 16-17 dates at PBIR if they so choose, but those days will count as Entrant Private Test Days.

The revised date means January and February will be heavy on testing.

Additional series testing is scheduled for January 26-27 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway road course and January 29 on the oval.

Testing will continue in February in conjunction with the Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at the newly reconstructed NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La., on February 17-18 and Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on February 23-24.

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.