Circuit of the Americas will hold one of three sanctioned all-team IndyCar tests in 2019.

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

Leave a comment

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.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

Leave a comment

Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).