The Verizon IndyCar Series returns to the Road America circuit in Wisconsin this weekend for the Kohler Grand Prix for the first time since 2007.
The circuit is a 4.048 mile permanent 14 turn clockwise road course and is a favourite among all of the drivers. The last time the Verizon IndyCar Series competed at Road America in 2007 the race was won by Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais who has said that the circuit is his favourite in America. The KVSH Racing driver heads to the track after taking victory for Chip Ganassi Racing in their class for the LeMans 24 Hours last weekend.
Speaking about the return of Road America to the schedule Bourdais stated:
I am really looking forward to racing at Road America again. It’s my favorite road course in the United States and like a lot of the tracks in Europe. I raced there four times back in the CART and Champ Car days and finished on the podium every time. At one point I was wondering if I would ever win there and finally did in my last race back in 2007. KVSH Racing had a good race car at the only permanent road course we’ve raced on this year at Barber, so the Hydroxycut machine should be fast right off the truck. Hopefully, we can keep my streak of podiums at Road America alive or even get our second win of the season.
AJ Foyt Racing’s Takuma Sato has never raced at Road America before but is looking forward to returning there this weekend following the promising test IndyCar had there during the off season:
Road America is very impressive and a great, fun track as expected. I’ve heard so many positive stories about this circuit since I joined the IndyCar Series, and I know everyone as well as the fans wanted INDYCAR to go back there. It was a nice experience that we had a great crowd show up at the test day last fall. I had a lot of fun driving this superb track and I’m looking forward to racing there.
Sato’s team mate Jack Hawksworth raced here in 2014 in sports cars and is looking forward to racing an IndyCar on the track saying:
I love Road America. It’s very quick, has a variety of corners and is the only track we go to that is over 4 miles in length. I had a fantastic time racing there in 2014 (in sports cars), made even better by the fact that I had a very quick car.
Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot will take part in his third race for the team in the No.20 Fuzzy’s Chevrolet with JR Hildebrand expected to drive alongside him in place of the injured Josef Newgarden and speaking ahead of this weekend’s race, Pigot commented by saying:
It doesn’t get much better than driving an Indy car around Road America. We had a very good test there last week and I can’t wait to get back for the race with the Ed Carpenter Racing crew. It’s an amazing track and I think it’s going to provide some great racing for the fans.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Conor Daly commented about the race this weekend by saying:
I think every driver can’t wait to get there. It’s going to be an incredible race. We’ve always wanted to go back there for many years. I can’t wait to get out there. I’ve won two races there, finished second in a sports car there so I feel pretty good about it. We just have to do the same in an Indy car and try to get ourselves back on the podium. Obviously we need to focus back on the road courses and get back to work on that. In the last three road or street course races we haven’t finished outside the top six so we have to keep that rolling.” (Any particular parts of the track that you can’t wait to drive in an Indy car?): “I think the carousel is obviously a very impressive corner for our car. I can’t wait to get there and to experience the downforce. Really, the whole track, there’s not one place you can pick out there that’s better than the other. It flows together really well.”
Gabby Chaves commented on the return of Road America by saying:
Road America is one of my favorite tracks. I haven’t been there since 2009. It’s where I won the Formula BMW Americas Championship so I’m definitely very excited to get back there and to compete with Dale Coyne Racing. We’ll try and keep our momentum going forward after a strong first 71 laps in Texas. I’m just really excited to see what we can do out there. It’s going to be a fun track to drive and certainly one of the most enjoyable circuits that we go to this year. I’m very much looking forward to getting back there and having a good weekend.
Graham Rahal in the No.15 Gehl/D-A Lubricant Honda commented by saying:
Road America is my favorite track, and the favorite of many drivers. It’s the best track at 4 miles long, with elevation changes and many challenging, interesting parts. If you ask my dad or many drivers, they will tell you it’s the best, pure road course. It’s another track that I went to a lot as a kid when my dad was racing. It was definitely one of my favorites as a kid. Racing-wise, my results there have been up and down. In Champ Car in 2007 we were on the podium, and in Atlantics we had a mechanical problem and lost the championship, so it’s been up and down. I’m definitely looking forward to being back there and hopefully get better results this time around. A fun thing for me is the fact that we have the Gehl car coming back and that will be as special for me as returning to Road America. Testing went really well and I do anticipate that we should be very competitive. We didn’t get to work on our car that much that day because we were doing a lot of testing for INDYCAR so we’re going to arrive there, change a couple of things and I think we should be pretty good.
Andretti Autosport’s four drivers are looking forward to the race with Carlos Munoz who secured his first Verizon P1 Award last time out at the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway commenting by saying:
Road America is a track the series hasn’t been to in a long time and I tested last week for the first time. It is a long track – a different track, for sure. I am excited to try something new. We’ll see how it goes. We have to keep our momentum going through the weekend and keep collecting the championship points.
Marco Andretti commented by saying:
We had a solid test at Road America last week and I am looking forward to getting the United Fiber & Data car back on track. This track is my favorite permanent road course to drive. I think it should be a great race with a lot of passing into Turn 5 and through Turns 12 and (Turn) 1.
Ryan Hunter Reay in the No.28 DHL Honda commented by saying:
I’m really looking forward to INDYCAR’s long-awaited return to Road America. Outside of Indy, this place has always been my favorite racetrack, so it’s been tough being away for so many years. It’s been 12 years since I last raced here, and I can’t wait to get the DHL Honda on track for the race this weekend.
Indianapolis 500 winner Alexander Rossi commented by saying:
In the past, Road America has always been a race that I look forward to and this year is no exception. It is one of the flagship tracks not only in America, but globally, and I am so excited that the Verizon IndyCar Series is returning this year. We had a positive test there last week, so we will be doing everything we can to make sure the No. 98 car is at the sharp end (of the field). It is going to be an incredible event.
The Kohler Grand Prix takes place over 50 laps with the race broadcast LIVE on NBCSN with all other sessions with the exception of qualifying LIVE via http://racecontrol.indycar.com/