Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Track evaluation or secret speed test?

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway race track is considered the home of Indycar racing. But the Indycar series only races there once a year, and on the oval track. When it comes to the infield road course, there are Formula1 engineers and drivers that have more expertise concerning this road course than anyone currently in the Indycar Series.

Indycar last used the road course at the speedway in 2011 when Dan Wheldon was testing the current chassis.

We had longed to see an Indycar race on the road course, and even dreamed of the Indianapolis 500 flagship race being ran on the road course instead of the oval. We have not been avid fans of oval racing and Dan Wheldon's fatal accident on the Las Vegas Speedway oval has further relegated us to our conviction.

The curious factor in the IMS road course test is that we had never heard of a race car being tested on a track in order to determine its viability for future upgrades. We're only deeply passionate fans, so we might be wrong.

But we think the true reason for the Indycar test on the Indianapolis road course is to measure the Indycars' road speed against the speed of the F1 cars which last ran there in 2007.  If Indycars had similar speed to F1 machines on road courses that could be a marketing boon. But we doubt it would significantly improve the show itself.