Teams, Track Ready for INDYCAR Spring Testing at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on February 8
Indy cars return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca after a 15-year absence. The action starts and ends in Monterey with INDYCAR Spring Testing taking place on Friday, February 8, and the season-ending Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey scheduled on September 20-22.
INDYCAR Spring Testing will reacquaint teams to the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course that hosted Indy car racing from 1983 to 2004 with memorable moments that included Alex Zanardi executing “The Pass” on Bryan Herta on the final lap of the 1996 finale, Mario Andretti’s emotional retirement in 1994 and Bobby Rahal winning four consecutive events from 1984 to 1987.
A total of 23 cars are confirmed to take part in INDYCAR Spring Testing with drivers from Team Penske, Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Ed Carpenter Racing, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, A.J. Foyt Enterprises, Carlin Motorsport, Dale Coyne Racing, Juncos Racing and Michael Shank Racing.
The drivers attending will be Scott Dixon, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Sebastien Bourdais, Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, James Hinchcliffe, Marcus Ericsson, Graham Rahal, Felix Rosenqvist, Takuma Sato, Matheus Leist, Max Chilton, Zach Veach, Santino Ferrucci, Spencer Pigot, Ed Jones, Kyle Kaiser, Jack Harvey and another driver to be announced. The only team on the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series not expected to attend is the newly-formed Harding Steinbrenner Racing team with rookie drivers Colton Herta and Patricio Ward.
Veteran drivers Dixon, Hunter-Reay, Kanaan and Bourdais will race Indy cars in Monterey again after competing here in CART/ChampCar earlier in their careers by the time the last event was held in 2004. Rahal and Pagenaud also had the chance to drive here when a ChampCar test session was held in 2007. Some drivers have experience at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca from Indy Lights or sportscar racing, while others have only raced the iconic road course on video games.
“Laguna Seca is such a cool place and I’m really excited that the INDYCAR Series is headed there in 2019,” said Simon Pagenaud of Team Penske. “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 is the finale race next season. There’s just a lot to be looking forward to there and that all starts with our winter test.”
In preparation for the test day, improvements have been made to the track, namely with the total addition of more than a half-mile of safety debris fencing at Turns 1,2, 4, 5, 6 and 9 with additional steel cables affixed to the fences and secured to every pole. Additional rows of tire bales for cushioning and deceleration as well.
The day full of on-track action will begin at 8:30 a.m. The public is able to attend INDYCAR Spring Testing for $20 at the admissions checkpoint or $10 for guests who have purchased tickets for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey. Admission is free for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Season Ticket holders and children 15 years old and under. Plenty of free parking is available.
The 2019 NTT IndyCar Series consists of 17 races, beginning with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 10 and concluding with the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 20-22, which will be aired live on the NBC Network.
“Monterey Speed Week” combination packages for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on September 13-15 and Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on September 20-22. Tickets for both events can be purchased by clicking here or by calling 831-242-8200.