By: Tanner Watkins
February 14, 2019 | 4:00 PM
Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day, and the feelings of affection aren’t only reserved for couples.
After the NTT IndyCar Series held their first open test of the 2019 calendar year at Circuit of the Americas this week, drivers across the circuit spoke out about their experiences from the last two days.
“It’s been fun. It’s really interesting to try and get a hold of this place in the No. 2 Hitachi Chevy,” said Team Penske driver and 2017 series champion Josef Newgarden.
“It’s very different than where we’ve been. It’s a long track, kind of like Road America. It’s very smooth. The facility is really beautiful. It’s kind of like running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, to be honest with you, because the facility is so immaculate.”
“I’ve never been even to Austin, so it’s a big track and it’s got a lot of elevation,” said Dixon. “You just really don’t see the elevation until you drive it, so that was probably my first shock, just how steep Turn 1 is. Also, the changes of elevation through Turns 3 through 9, they’re complex, as well.”
Through some of the more complex corners, as Dixon alluded to, take a different approach in order to extract speed. Marco Andretti had some interesting insight to add at the conclusion of day one, stating that drivers essentially have to take it slow to go fast.
“The track is fun. It’s
Teams across the series will embark on a slew of private testing sessions in Florida (most notably at Sebring Raceway) over the next three weeks before heading to St. Petersburg for the season opener in March.
The 20-turn, 3.4-mile road course located in Austin, Texas has been home to the Formula One United States Grand Prix since 2012 and will host its first IndyCar event this spring, the second race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season from March 22-24.
The next open test hosted by INDYCAR will come on April 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Header image by Chris Jones/INDYCAR.