After the debacle at Texas Motor Speedway, and an off weekend, the Verizon IndyCar Series is back in full force this week, visiting two iconic venues. This weekend is the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America, a place the open wheel cars have not raced at since 2007. Today though, five drivers from four teams were testing at Watkins Glen, in preparation for the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen later this year on Labor Day weekend. The five drivers testing on Monday were Scott Dixon, Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud, James Hinchcliffe, and defending Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.
The 3.4 mile road course has been repaved, and the drivers spoke about how fast they were moving on Monday. “There will be track records set,” said Hinchcliffe. “This car would have done it anyway on the old surface, but with the way it is now, I think we will be going pretty quick in qualifying. Turn 1’s really fast, the esses are really fast, the bus stop is fast, Turn 5 is fast, 6 is fast, 7’s pretty quick – actually pretty much other than Turn 9, they’re all fast corners here.”
Hinchcliffe also had the wonderful visor cam on today, courtesy of IndyCar.
IndyCar has held six races at Watkins Glen, with Dixon winning the first three from 2005-2007. The defending series champion has a pretty good idea of how the racing is going to look come September. “I think with the re-pavement, it’s going to make the racing pretty good. Even off line it’s still pretty grippy, so it might give you a few different options for passing. And typical Watkins Glen style, I think if you trim out, especially for the back straight, I think you’re going to have some good speed going into the bus stop.”
Below are some photos from today’s test at Watkins Glen, and a video recap, both courtesy of IndyCar.