IndyCar announces 2019 test dates, including at COTA and Laguna Seca

Circuit of the Americas will hold one of three sanctioned all-team IndyCar tests in 2019.
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IndyCar is wasting no time in preparing for the 2019 season.

On Friday, the sanctioning body announced that it will hold three all-team open tests during the 2019 season, including two for new venues on the schedule.

The first will be a two-day preseason test on Feb. 12-13 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, less than four weeks before the start of the 2019 IndyCar season on March 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The COTA test is in preparation for IndyCar’s first-ever regular season race at the sprawling road course on March 24.

The other two tests, both in-season sessions, will be April 24 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 103rd Running of the legendary Indianapolis 500 on May 26, as well as Sept. 19 at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway.

The latter will come just four days before IndyCar’s first race at the fabled Central California road course in 15 years, on Sept. 22.

All three tests will utilize 2018-19 IndyCar Series testing rules.

In addition, IndyCar announced that the private testing period for teams will run from Oct. 1, 2018 through Sept. 11, 2019, with blackout periods around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Tests are allowed within seven days of all race weekends except prior to the season opener at St. Petersburg.

Each team is allowed three preseason test days that must be completed by March 4, 2019.

WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway

Full-time rookie drivers and new IndyCar teams are allowed two additional test days that must be used by Sept. 11, 2019.

According to an IndyCar media release, Chevrolet and Honda, the series’ only engine manufacturers, will also receive “one test day at any approved track other than the three where open tests will take place.”

Lastly, full-season IndyCar teams are allowed one extra day to test 2019 Indy Lights drivers looking to eventually jump to the IndyCar series. And if an IndyCar team also has a Indy Lights subsidiary team, it gains one other additional day of testing an Indy Lights driver in an Indy car.

All 17 races on the 2019 IndyCar Series schedule will be televised on NBC or NBCSN.

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Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
Align Media
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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.