Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing’s Romain Grosjean took to the streets of Nashville virtually to prepare for this weekend’s inaugural NTT IndyCar Series Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on the streets of Nashville. The street circuit is unique in that it is the one street course in IndyCar history to feature a bridge as the drivers will travel across the Korean war veterans memorial bridge twice per lap.

Speaking about the unique challenges of the circuit, Grosjean said:

For me this year, as a rookie in INDYCAR, having the Honda Simulator has been hugely important. It’s helped me to learn the tracks, setup the car and understand what it takes to go fast – and to get there quickly! The days we’ve had on the simulator have been quite valuable for us.”

The driver is immersed in the simulator – from wearing his racing gloves and boots, to seeing a laser-scanned, 180-degree image of the circuit on the console, to feeling the undulations of the Nashville course, to hearing engine notes rise and fall and he accelerates and brakes through his headset. HPD engineers implement and monitor programs requested by teams or drivers, with real-time data.

“Here’s a funny story, Grosjean says, recounting his preparations for the Indianapolis Grand Prix [on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course]. “Before the Indy GP, on Thursday morning I was on the simulator here, working on the setup for the Indy road course for the race, and then on Friday afternoon we scored our first pole! So it was quite valuable for us that weekend.”

“Nashville looks like a super-challenging track, but also super exciting. It’s tight, it’s bumpy, but then you have a super flat-out section where you go over the bridge, and then a very flowing section next to the stadium. It’s a very complicated layout, but once you get into the rhythm, I think it’s going to be an incredible event.

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