INDYCAR releases 2017 testing regulations

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One of the big talking points in the paddock during the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season has been how much in-season testing there’s been. In 2017, there will be less.

Here’s an outline from INDYCAR of what the 2017 testing regulations will look like:

INDYCAR announced today testing regulations for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season highlighted by four open tests during the season and an overall reduction in the amount of in-season testing.

INDYCAR will conduct the following open tests next year: Feb. 10-11 at Phoenix International Raceway; March 21 at Barber Motorsports Park; May 2 at Gateway Motorsports Park and Sept. 14 at Sonoma Raceway – the same week as the season finale in 2017.

“We collaborated with all of our teams on the 2017 testing regulations with the goal of minimizing the amount of in-season testing,” said Jay Frye, INDYCAR president of competition and operations. “The majority of testing will take place at a series of open tests, which have been strategically routed to coincide with our race schedule. As we finalized our regulations, the focus was on making our test schedule more efficient and minimizing the overall demands on the crews during the year. We’re confident that this is a positive step forward for the Verizon IndyCar Series.”

The in-season testing window runs from April 11-Sept. 17, 2017, with teams permitted one test day – in addition to open tests – within that time frame. The off-season testing window for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season begins Oct. 3, 2016, with teams permitted three test days from the start of the testing window until April 6, 2017 – which allows teams to utilize the break between the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (March 12) and the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (April 9).

Teams may earn additional test days by running a rookie driver (up to four days) for the season, a current Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires driver (one day) or operating an Indy Lights team under the same ownership as the Verizon IndyCar Series team (one day). New teams entering the Verizon IndyCar Series would be allowed up to four additional test days.

Tire testing comes at the request of Firestone, the official tire supplier to the Verizon IndyCar Series. Any tire test is limited to two days, either in-season or off-season, with no more than two teams participating. All teams are permitted to have one car conduct team testing during an in-season tire test. Engine testing for Chevrolet and Honda is limited to two days for each manufacturer in the off-season window.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.