IndyCar: Chip Ganassi teams to test for one day at Sonoma

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

In case you weren’t paying attention, yesterday was the Verizon IndyCar Series’ media day in Indianapolis. The ball is officially rolling toward the 2016 season opener at St. Petersburg on March 13.

So who wants a chance to see some IndyCar’s on the track a month ahead of time? If you live on the West Coast and said “I do!” while sitting at your computer trying to look like you’re working, you’re in luck.

All four drivers who will compete for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2016 will take part in a one-day test at Sonoma Raceway next Wednesday, Feb. 10. The test is open to the public with free admission.

Scott Dixon (No. 9 Target Chevrolet), Tony Kanaan (No. 10 NTT DATA Chip Chevrolet), Charlie Kimball (No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chevrolet) and rookie Chilton (No. 8 Chevrolet) will be present at the 12-turn, 2.38-mile road course.

Chilton, a former Formula 1 driver, will be making his first laps in an IndyCar during the test.

The test will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m PT. If there is inclement weather, the test will be rescheduled for Feb. 11.

SuperMotocross set to introduce Leader Lights beginning with the World Championship finals


In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.

Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.

Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.

The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.

“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”

Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.

SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.

When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.

SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.