Several IndyCar teams will take part in a full day test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on February 8, track officials announced.
It will mark the first time Indy cars have been on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile permanent road course in 15 years.
It also will be the first of at least two tests planned at the iconic racing venue. The other test will be Sept. 19, just prior to the season-ending Grand Prix of Monterrey race weekend, Sept. 20-22.
The teams taking part in February’s test include Andretti Autosport, Ed Carpenter Racing, Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser-Sullivan.
“Laguna Seca is such a cool place and I’m really excited that the IndyCar Series is heading there in 2019,” said Team Penske driver Simon Pagenaud, a two-time ALMS winner at Laguna Seca. “With the test in February, we have a lot of work to do to get our car in the right place since it is a totally new place for our team, but it’s an exciting challenge we are ready for.
“I feel like I have a bit of an advantage over the competition having competed and won there in the American Le Mans Series. It’s such a fun California track and I know there’s a lot of buzz around that race as it will serve as the finale next season.”
Laguna Seca has replaced Sonoma Raceway as the host track for the final race of the IndyCar season.
The five teams taking part in the Laguna Seca test will have very little rest afterward, as they will then be headed to Austin, Texas, and Circuit of the Americas for the first time for yet another test Feb. 12-13.
The Feb. 8 test will be open to the public, but there will be a $20 admission fee, which also includes paddock access.
If you’ve already purchased tickets for September’s race, it will only cost $10 to get into the test, while Laguna Seca season ticket holders will be admitted for free.
Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.
There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.
Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.
Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.
By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.
With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.
This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.
Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.
Two privateers have started the season on a high note.
Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.
The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.
Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.
In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.