When you haven’t been at a track for six years – particularly a track that recently underwent a complete repaving that has been universally praised by racers in other motorsport series – it’s to your benefit to get reacquainted with the place.
And that’s what drivers of the Verizon IndyCar Series will do Thursday, when they return to upstate New York for a daylong test at Watkins Glen International.
When this season began, WGI was not on the IndyCar schedule. But when the inaugural Labor Day weekend race in Boston was abruptly cancelled, Watkins Glen became the designated replacement for the Beantown event.
The rescheduled and relocated event will be known as the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen, set from Sept 1-4.
IndyCar has not raced at WGI since 2010. In total, the series raced six times at the twisting permanent road course.
Defending IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon won the first three series races there from 2005-2007, followed by Ryan Hunter-Reay (2008), Justin Wilson (2010) and most recently Will Power (2010).
Here’s a list of drivers scheduled to take part in Thursday’s test:
* Andretti Autosport (first three pairs of drivers will split rides in same car): Marco Andretti/Shelby Blackstock**, Ryan Hunter-Reay/Dean Stoneman**, Carlos Munoz/Dalton Kellett**, Alexander Rossi
* Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: Max Chilton, Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball
* Dale Coyne Racing: Conor Daly and TBD
* Ed Carpenter Racing: Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot
* KVSH Racing: Sebastien Bourdais
* Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Graham Rahal/Ed Jones**
* Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: Mikhail Aleshin, James Hinchcliffe
* Team Penske: Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power
** Indicates Indy Lights drivers testing an Indy car, but only scheduled to compete in the Indy Lights race during the INDYCAR Grand Prix at The Glen weekend.