Recap: First week of individual IndyCar team testing at Sebring concludes

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While a handful of teams spent the Fall doing manufacturer testing with Honda and Chevrolet to help them adapt to the 2018 universal aero kits, just as many were on the sidelines and had to wait until 2018, when individual team testing kicked off, before they got their chance to try out the new bodywork.

Some of those teams got their chance this week as 2018 testing got underway at Sebring International Raceway.

The first was Dale Coyne Racing, which saw Sebastien Bourdais got his first chance to try to the new 2018 package.

Andretti Autosport was next on the testing docket, as all four of its teams took turns around Sebring. For the Michael Andretti-led squad, it also was a chance to get used to some new faces in new places.

Longtime Andretti Autosport driver Ryan Hunter-Reay is the only driver not to see significant change in his program. Conversely, Alexander Rossi and Marco Andretti swapped cars – Rossi moves over to the No. 27 entry while Marco Andretti takes over the No. 98 – and Verizon IndyCar Series rookie Zach Veach made his debut with the team as well.

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Finally getting to work. #MA98 🎥 : @carlosmunoz73

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Finally, Chip Ganassi Racing ventured to Sebring with its drivers, Scott Dixon and Ed Jones, with Jones able to make his debut with the team after signing with Ganassi in October.

Testing for individual teams will continue through January at Sebring.

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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.