Today at Circuit of The Americas, the stars of the NTT IndyCar Series returned to the track for the first time in 2020. The bad news was that mother nature was there, and she wasn’t happy. Raindrops and cold temperatures limited the action on the track, as most teams and drivers were able to just get a few install laps in during the soggy Tuesday session. The good news is the weather forecast for tomorrow looks slightly better.
There are 27 drivers participating in the two-day test in Austin, Texas. The gorgeous course will play host to Round 4 of the 2020 IndyCar season, where Colton Herta captured the checkered flag in the inaugural event last year.
Herta has now transitioned to a full-blown Andretti Autosport car, which should scare the competition even more. The rest of the Andretti stable returns and they now will have an affiliation with Meyer Shank Racing and driver Jack Harvey. Team Penske returns their same three drivers, but will also have defending Virgin Australia Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin behind the wheel of the No. 2 car. McLaughlin will make his first career IndyCar start on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in May.
Chip Ganassi Racing has expanded to three full-time cars this season, adding Marcus Ericsson to go alongside Felix Rosenqvist and five-time series champion Scott Dixon. Other driver changes include Conor Daly doing the non-oval events in Ed Carpenter’s No. 20 car, and a third car for the Indianapolis 500. Santino Ferrucci takes over the No. 18 DCR with Vasser-Sullivan machine, and Charlie Kimball returns to full-time status as driver of the No. 4 Chevrolet at Foyt.
Carlin Racing announced yesterday that Felipe Nasr and Sergio Sette Camara will take turns driving their No. 31 Chevrolet, while Max Chilton returns for all but four races. One of the biggest changes for this season is the introduction of the aeroscreen, which is now mandatory on all cars. It has gone through extensive testing and been put through the paces by a number of teams and drivers over the off-season. Today it got tested with the raindrops and the cold temperatures.
There were several new liveries on display today, with black being the common denominator.
The 2020 Rookie class is a stellar once, with a number of talented drivers ready to make their mark in IndyCar. Oliver Askew will team with Pato O’Ward as at the new two-car tandem at Arrow McLaren SP Racing. Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing, Alex Palou of Dale Coyne Racing, and Dalton Kellett of AJ Foyt Racing are a few more new names to keep an eye on this year. Kellett will share the No. 14 Chevrolet with accomplished veterans Tony Kanaan and Sebastien Bourdais.
Kanaan, who is only racing in the five oval races this season, is part of the announcing team that includes Paul Tracy, Kevin Lee, Jake Query, and Katie Hargitt. The day was ended about 45 minutes prematurely today because of the conditions. Testing will continue at 10 AM ET tomorrow and will run through 5 PM ET with a one-hour lunch break at noon. IndyCar will once again stream the full day of testing online.
Photos courtesy of IndyCar