Watch This Visor Cam Footage of IndyCar’s Initial Test at Circuit of the Americas
IndyCar will race at Circuit of the Americas for the first time in March of 2019—this is what it’ll look like.
On Monday, IndyCar held a tire test with Firestone at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, where it will race for the first time in 2019.
Andretti Autosport-Honda's Alexander Rossi, an unspecified Carlin Racing-Chevrolet driver, and AJ Foyt Racing-Chevrolet's Tony Kanaan took part in the test. Footage from a camera mounted to Kanaan's helmet was published by IndyCar's Twitter feed on the Tuesday following the running.
When IndyCar races at COTA in March, it will be the second premiere open-wheel racing series to do so. Formula 1 has held its United States Grand Prix at COTA every Autumn since 2012, and both series' status as some of the fastest racing cars in the world tempt comparison. Lap times for F1 cars at this year's USGP dipped into the 1:32 range, and according to the writer of an IndyCar news site, recorded lap times for IndyCar were within 10 seconds of the mark.
As the drivers for the tire test were experimenting with varying tire compounds and power levels, all familiar with IndyCar's pace around COTA have agreed not to publicize official lap times. Odds are that as drivers familiarize themselves with COTA and the track rubbers in over a race weekend, lap times could approach those of F1. Rossi gushed of his experience at the test in an interview following the event.
"I had a smile on my face for the entire 90 laps and the package is great," Rossi told Motorsport. "It's challenging, it's technical, but there's also a lot of high-speed corners. It's a perfect circuit for us."
"From Turn 1 to Turn 9 is just mega. The first bit of it is pretty close to flat and each one subsequently gets tighter so you kind of decelerate as you go through them and if you're a little bit off on the first one, you pay a big penalty six corners later! So it's definitely a drivers' track."
Rossi raced the 2015 USGP with now-defunct F1 team Manor-Marussia, but had difficulty comparing his F1 experience at COTA with his IndyCar drive, attributable in part to the monsoon-like conditions of the Grand Prix.
"In 2015 in the Marussia, the whole time it was wet, and in 2013 driving for Caterham as test driver I did one free practice in the dry," said Rossi. "But I honestly don't remember too much about that."