Carlin reflects on opening four weekends in America


Having had four weekends to get introduced to the U.S. racing scene, Carlin team principal Trevor Carlin is pleased with his team’s early season success in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.

Ed Jones currently leads the points after the opening seven races, on the strength of wins in the first three races. Teammate Max Chilton ranks fourth in points and has added two additional podiums, one apiece at Barber and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

“The team have done a great job adapting to a new environment and they’ve done so in a very calm and professional way,” Carlin said in a team release.

“To be honest it seems like we’ve been there for years in the way the team operates.  We kind of made a conscious decision to do things the same as we do in Europe. Obviously there’s some small organizational differences which means we have to adapt to a few things, but the basic operation of the team is identical to any of our teams in Europe.”

As he did in a piece for MotorSportsTalk after the opening St. Petersburg weekend, Carlin noted the friendly atmosphere of the U.S. environment.

“It’s quite refreshing; it’s not dissimilar to a World Series by Renault paddock which is very open and welcoming,” he said. “Because the paddock is open to the public you get a real buzz between the fans and the teams. Obviously the big pull is IndyCar, but the grandstands are full, the autograph sessions are well attended and generally there’s a lot of interaction which is really nice.”

The big goal for Carlin is to increase the Lights program and expand into IndyCar in 2016. Carlin said he hopes for a three-car Indy Lights effort and a potential step up into the Verizon IndyCar Series.

“The aim for 2016? We’ve already had quite a bit of interest from new people for Indy Lights in 2016 which is really encouraging so we hope to be in a position to expand the team to three cars and if the climate and conditions are correct we’d like to move into IndyCar and we’re having discussions to that effect,” Carlin said.

Chilton, who banked his second podium weekend at IMS (pictured above), was pleased if disappointed at the same time with the result.

The spin that took Jones out of contention and Chilton getting caught up in it meant the pair fell to 12th and eighth, respectively, in the 12-car field. Yet both fought back valiantly, Chilton up to third with Jones fourth by the checkered flag.

“I can’t really remember the start, other than I do remember getting hit up the backside,” Chilton said to a bit of laughter in the IMS post-race press conference. The latter word served as a course correction after he mistakenly said “arse” during the press conference at Barber.

“(Jack) Harvey hit Ed and Ed spun. I was in a very poor spot but I was then really motivated and thought, ‘this isn’t over.’

“For 15 laps, we both ran qualifying pace and caught everyone up. (On Friday) we didn’t have push-to-pass but we set the car up even better. I still got the overtakes done and had fastest lap.”

Even with Jones behind him, Chilton noted there were no team orders, and the two maximized their result as best as possible.

For Carlin, it’s the first of several steps forward in their U.S. progression this season.

IndyCar releases schedule for 2023 season

IndyCar schedule 2023
Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series’ 2023 schedule will feature the same number of races and tracks as this season with some minor reshuffling of dates.

IndyCar will open the 2023 season March 5 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and will conclude Sept. 10 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The 107th Indy 500 will take place May 28 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 17-race schedule will conclude with a stretch of eight races in the final nine weeks.

“The NTT IndyCar Series is on an impactful upward trajectory, making progress at a pace that befits our thrilling style of competition,” Penske Entertainment Corp. president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “The 2023 season provides an opportunity to further build on this trend, bringing our sport and its stars to more markets and households and reaching new consumers across the globe.”

There will be 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.

In partnership with NBC Sports, the 2022 IndyCar season was the most-watched in six years and the most-watched across NBC Sports on record. The 2022 season also was the most streamed season on record.

“We’re very excited for our 2023 NTT IndyCar Series schedule and to build on this past season’s viewership milestones,” NBC Sports vice president of programming Mike Perman said in a release. “In providing comprehensive coverage across NBC, Peacock and USA Network, NBC Sports is once again looking forward to telling the stories of these world-class drivers and this compelling series.”

Notable elements on the 2023 schedule:

–There will be the same balance of seven road course races, five street courses and five ovals.

–St. Pete will be the season opener for the 13th time.

–The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix will move from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown.

–The NASCAR doubleheader weekend at the IMS road course will shift to mid-August.

–The World Wide Technology Raceway event will move from Saturday to Sunday.

Start times for the 2023 events will be announced at a later date.

Here’s the 2023 IndyCar schedule:

Date Race/Track Network/Platform
Sun., March 5 Streets of St. Petersburg NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 2 Texas Motor Speedway NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 16 Streets of Long Beach NBC, Peacock
Sun., April 30 Barber Motorsports Park NBC, Peacock
Sat., May 13 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) NBC, Peacock
Sun., May 28 The 107th Indianapolis 500 NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 4 Streets of Detroit NBC, Peacock
Sun., June 18 Road America USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 2 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course USA Network, Peacock
Sun., July 16 Streets of Toronto Peacock
Sat., July 22 Iowa Speedway – Race 1 NBC, Peacock
Sun., July 23 Iowa Speedway – Race 2 NBC, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 6 Streets of Nashville NBC, Peacock
Sat., Aug. 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course) USA Network, Peacock
Sun., Aug. 27 World Wide Technology Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 3 Portland International Raceway NBC, Peacock
Sun., Sept. 10 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca NBC, Peacock

*dates and networks/platforms are subject to change