Anticipation, importance obvious for today’s IndyCar test at Sonoma

1 Comment

In-season testing is so infrequent in the Verizon IndyCar Series as it is anyway, which makes every day you can get on track an important one.

But today’s one-day test at Sonoma Raceway carries an even greater magnitude, as teams testing today will all have two goals: prepare their cars as best as possible for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, and see which of the Indy Lights drivers is a standout in terms of feedback, insights, pace and performance on the day.

The list of those testing is linked below:

• Andretti Autosport – Marco Andretti (Matthew Brabham)
• Chip Ganassi Racing Teams – Scott Dixon (Sean Rayhall)
• KVSH Racing – Sebastien Bourdais (Ryan Phinny)
• Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – Graham Rahal (Ed Jones)
• Schmidt Peterson Motorsports – Ryan Briscoe (Jack Harvey)
• Team Penske – Juan Pablo Montoya, Will Power (Spencer Pigot, Nelson Piquet Jr.)

In Andretti’s case, he’s coming off more than 500 miles of testing on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, doing Firestone tire testing as part of a six-car test at the hallowed grounds.

The drivers are excited – and amped up – for today’s test. Here’s a pre-test roundup of social reaction posts:

As you see, Pigot already has a one-day head start, albeit in a slightly different open-wheeler.

The only one of the regular season IndyCar drivers to post on Twitter thus far is, as you might expect, Graham Rahal. The Mid-Ohio winner, who now spends much more time in California than he used to with fiancee Courtney Force, is primed to ensure his Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team delivers a good test day.

The other drivers either haven’t posted or have simply re-tweeted their team tweets.

We’ll have more to follow from Sonoma later today.

Dutch Grand Prix becomes fourth Formula 1 race canceled this season

EM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — The Dutch Grand Prix became the fourth Formula One race canceled this season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after organizers decided Thursday they didn’t want to play host to an event without spectators.

It was to be the first Dutch GP since 1985, but F1 wants to start the season with no spectators at races.

“We would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands,” race director Jan Lammers said in a statement. “We ask everyone to be patient. I had to look forward to it for 35 years, so I can wait another year.”

The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed. Fans who bought tickets can use them next year.

The coastal circuit has been redesigned, with some corners banked to facilitate faster racing.

The other races canceled this year were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.

Another six have been postponed.

F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15 to 18 races this season, starting in July with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP.