Five IndyCar teams to test at Laguna Seca in February

WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway
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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.

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Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III