The Verizon IndyCar Series 2018 universal road course aero kit made its on track debut at the Mid-Ohio sports car course in Lexington, Ohio on Tuesday with Juan Pablo Montoya and Oriol Servia back in action.
Montoya was driving the Team Penske prepared Chevrolet road course aero kit configuration while Servia was driving the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports prepared Honda road course aero kit configuration.
Juan Pablo Montoya, a two time Indianapolis 500 champion and the 1999 Verizon IndyCar Series champion was happy with how the test went. The Colombian commented saying:
It feels pretty good; it’s very different than the current aero kit. “The (new) car is a little more forgiving, but the level of downforce is a lot lighter so you slide around a lot more. That, I think, is good.
Montoya, who competed in a fifth Team Penske entry for the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 in May went on to say:
I think you’re going to be able to see the (driver’s) hands moving a lot more on the steering wheel and I think you’re going to see the cars get out of shape a lot easier. “The chances of mistakes are higher, so I think it’s going to bring better racing.
Oriol Servia, a veteran of 202 Verizon IndyCar Series starts, most recently, the Chevrolet Duel in Detroit in June commented on the road course aero kit by saying:
It’s harder to see the driver work when you have a lot of downforce (on the current car). “When you have a little less (downforce) and the cars move around, at least the fans can see that we’re doing something. Good or bad, we are doing something. I think it’s going to be more fun for the fans and for us.
The Spaniard went on to say:
“It was great, honestly. “I’m not just saying it because it’s what we wanted. It really was a lot better than this year’s car.
“Even at Detroit, where the speeds are a lot less, which was my last race I did (in June), you couldn’t get close to anyone even in the slow corners because there was so much downforce. “Here, of course there was downforce, but it stays very balanced. This year’s car, the rear gets loose. And the new car, you lose a little bit of front, but not much. I was surprised. I think it’s honestly very positive.
“Apparently, science works.
Verizon IndyCar Series vice president of competition and race engineering Bill Pappas was happy with how the first road course test went saying:
We went through our test list and checked off the boxes we wanted to. “Both drivers felt the car was different but comfortable. We went through tires for Firestone and got the reads on those, and Firestone is happy with that.
“And we ran the cars together at the end, which I think was the most important thing, and both drivers commented that the car was very stable behind the car in front of them. We’re very pleased with the results.