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

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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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Wickens undergoes successful surgery

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Just days after successfully piloting an Acura NSX around Toronto’s Exhibition Palace street course, Robert Wickens has undergone a successful surgery operation to remove hardware from his leg after a previous infection had returned, the 30-year-old Canadian revealed on social media Wednesday.

“Spinal Cord injury has such highs and lows,” Wickens said in an Instagram post prior to surgery. “One day I’m in the NSX driving the hand controlled car, and the next day I’m getting ready for surgery. Life is so unpredictable!”

Fortunately, the surgery went well for Wickens, as he later announced that his surgery had no complications. Wickens will now start six weeks of IV antibiotics before he returns to a full rehab program.

“One piece (there’s a lot) of the hardware had an infected screw,” Wickens wrote. “All hardware in my leg was removed.”

Wickens is currently recovering from spinal fracture sustained in an IndyCar crash at Pocono Raceway last August. Since his crash and diagnosis, Wickens has openly documented his recovery process through social media.

Wickens returned to the INDYCAR paddock for the first time since his accident at the season-opener in St. Petersburg in March, and his laps behind the wheel in Toronto last weekend marked the first time he had driven in public since his accident.

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