Photo: IndyCar

Mid-Ohio IndyCar test social roundup, notes (PHOTOS)

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There were a mix of different goals and programs to emerge out of Thursday’s test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, ahead of next week’s Honda Indy 200 for the Verizon IndyCar Series.

We’ll round them up with a mix of social posts and nuggets, below:

THE FIVE YOUNG GUNS

Four drivers – Felix Rosenqvist, Robin Frijns, Zachary Claman De Melo and RC Enerson – made their IndyCar test debuts while Jack Harvey returned to the track following a nearly yearlong hiatus.

Oddly it was the two-year Indy Lights veteran, Harvey, who made a rare mistake. An incident at Turn 6 damaged the No. 5 Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda he was testing more than you’d normally expect and according to Motorsport.com, it’s potentially put into doubt a race debut for Harvey later this year in an extra SPM entry. SPM ran a third car for Mikhail Aleshin at last year’s season finale at Sonoma before the “Mad Russian” returned full-time this year.

As for the others, it was fairly smooth sailing.

Rosenqvist impressed on debut with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, the Swede taking over the usual No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet driven by four-time and defending series champion Scott Dixon, who turns 36 today.

Rosenqvist, 24, was over the moon with his test and called it the “best day of his life.” More here from RACER.com.

Enerson, as noted to NBC Sports last night, couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for the test with Dale Coyne Racing and also called it his “best day ever.” Pure joy was evident for the 19-year-old out of New Port Richey, Fla., who will make his race debut in the team’s No. 19 Honda next week.

Dutch ace Robin Frijns took over the No. 28 DHL Honda of Ryan Hunter-Reay for his IndyCar test debut. Frijns, who was on F1’s doorstep with Caterham a couple years ago and starred for MS Amlin Andretti’s FIA Formula E Championship program this year, welcomed the return to a more higher downforce open-wheel car.

Teenaged Canadian, Claman De Melo, took over in Mikhail Aleshin’s No. 7 SMP Racing Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda and had a clean day.

AERO EVALUATION

With INDYCAR set to outline its aerodynamic parameters among several other details next month, JR Hildebrand (again deputizing for Josef Newgarden at Ed Carpenter Racing) and Tony Kanaan were tasked with running several different aerodynamic configurations on Thursday.

Hildebrand released a photo of the No. 21 Chevrolet sans the rear wheel pod assembly:

Strakes and sidewalls also appeared to be present, which you don’t ordinarily see on a road course.

OTHER NOTES FROM RUNNING

It seems hard to believe but Conor Daly, who’s been to Mid-Ohio many times as a spectator, has never actually raced there. He’ll do so next week in the No. 18 Jonathan Byrd’s Hospitality Honda for Dale Coyne Racing for the first time.

Graham Rahal, last year’s winner at Mid-Ohio, was busy in a quest to mileage out his Honda engine. While his car was still in the Rousseau Metals/RLL livery as seen at Toronto, he’ll be back in the No. 15 Steak ‘n Shake colors next weekend.

A HANDFUL OF ADDITIONAL PHOTOS FROM THE TEST (All Photos: IndyCar)

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Juan Pablo Montoya’s No. 2 Chevrolet back in Hawk Performance colors.
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Josef Newgarden at test, but not in car. Has been cleared to drive.
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IndyCar debutante RC Enerson rolls out for Dale Coyne Racing.
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Points leader Simon Pagenaud looks on.
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Will Power has won three of last four races and is nipping at Pagenaud’s heels.
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Zachary Claman De Melo made his first IndyCar test.
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Jack Harvey returned to testing with SPM.
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JR Hildebrand filled Newgarden’s car for Mid-Ohio test.
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Felix Rosenqvist flanked by Ganassi engineers Julian Robertson (left) and Chris Simmons (right).
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Sebastien Bourdais’ KVSH Racing entry on course.
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Spencer Pigot in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet for Ed Carpenter Racing.
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Montoya doesn’t take too kindly to the idea he’s lost his passion for driving. At least that’s what this photo feels like.

Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season

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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

View this post on Instagram

Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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