Max Chilton paces Indy Lights’ two-day test at NOLA


A two-day Indy Lights test session at NOLA Motorsports Park outside New Orleans has ended with ex-Formula One pilot Max Chilton atop the overall times for Carlin Racing.

Chilton set the best time of the entire test today with a 1 minute, 24.120 second blitz around the 2.75-mile, 16-turn road course. Following the Brit was Juncos Racing’s Californian, Kyle Kaiser, with a 1:24.6047, and in third was Puerto Rico’s Felix Serrales from Belardi Auto Racing with a 1:24.6562.

Serrales led Wednesday’s first day of testing at NOLA with a 1:25.0687, just ahead of Chilton’s 1:25.3107 and 2014 title runner-up Jack Harvey’s 1:25.4608.

Chilton said today that he felt a bit more at home at NOLA than he did in the recent test on the Homestead road course.

“It’s been nice to get our Carlin car built up,” said Chilton in a release. “I’m more comfortable here than I was at Homestead. It has challenging corners, high speed and slow speed, and it’s all coming together nicely.

“But for me, all the circuits are new. It’s taken a bit of time to get used to the car but at the end of these two days, the [Dallara IL-15] has really grown on me. It’s a fun car to drive.”

Meanwhile, Kaiser’s ready to really get after it next Tuesday and Wednesday during the series’ final preseason test at Barber Motorsports Park.

“It’s about learning here but going into Barber, it will be a different game plan, to really attack the track and get some data we can use in April,” he said. “The team did a good job. I’m happy with the amount of progress we’ve made over the last couple of tests.”

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”