IndyCar: Power fastest in Barber test after leading Tuesday sessions


Will Power has led another day of testing at Barber Motorsports Park, as he has traditionally done ahead of the new Verizon IndyCar Series season.

The difference is that this year, Power’s the defending series champion, he’s wearing the champion’s No. 1, and he’s driving one of Chevrolet’s new aero kits. In the last few years, he was heading into the new season as one of the best drivers without a title, in the No. 12 car, and he was in the standard Dallara DW12 aero package.

Power’s morning session time of 1:07.3118 led the overall timesheets for the week, and lowered the bar by nearly two full tenths over Scott Dixon’s best time on Monday.

He was still a bit off of Dixon’s official track record, 1:06.7750 set in Q1 of 2013. But figure in a different time of year, with plenty more to be found on the cars, and with Firestone’s red alternate tires in the offing for qualifying there will be plenty more to come.

Power’s afternoon time of 1:07.4984 was also fastest in the second session until the final five minutes, when Dixon set his fastest time of the week at 1:07.3996. That led the afternoon times and was second overall both for the day and the week.

The majority of the 22-car field got into the 1:07 bracket on day two of the test. Power’s 1:07.3118 was just more than six tenths up on Carlos Munoz, 17th on the day at 1:07.9882.

Marco Andretti, James Jakes, Luca Filippi, and Gabby Chaves were in the 1:08 bracket with Francesco Dracone, running the 2014 aero package on his No. 19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, several seconds in arrears.

Sage Karam did not test today following his testing accident on Monday in the No. 8 GE LED Chevrolet. The Chip Ganassi Racing team is putting his car back together for a test in NOLA Motorsports Park next week. The 2013 Indy Lights champion is only confirmed for the season opener at St. Petersburg.

Combined times from the cumulative four sessions are linked here.

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.”