Team Penske head into next weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis looking to continue their success on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The race which was added to the Verizon IndyCar Series calendar in 2014 as a precursor to the Indianapolis 500 has been dominated by Roger Penske’s outfit with Will Power taking victory in 2015 while Simon Pagenaud won the inaugural race here in 2014 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports before taking victory again in 2016. Will Power won the race for a second time in 2017.
In 2018, Team Penske will field four cars for both the Indy Grand Prix and the 102nd running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil with Helio Castroneves returning to the Verizon IndyCar Series for the month of May.
Josef Newgarden goes into the race next weekend leading the championship by 13 points from Andretti Autosport’s Alexander Rossi and speaking following Monday’s open test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval the defending Verizon IndyCar Series champion commented by saying:
About the windscreen test he completed at the end of the day):”It was fascinating. It was totally different for an open-wheel car. You’re not used to having a windscreen that big in front of you, but it was interesting to try it out. The most interesting thing to me was the visor changes (on his helmet). Going from a fully-smoke visor to a clear visor was better. It helped with the visibility and the clarity. There’s small improvements to be made, especially with the clarity with the visors and the perception to see through it. It was easy to make it work, I didn’t have any major issues with it, and I think INDYCAR did a nice job.
Three time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves is just happy to be back in a Verizon IndyCar and speaking following the open test on Monday the Brazilian commented by saying;
Great day today to be back at Indianapolis. To be back in an Indy car – my Pennzoil Chevy – plus the new car. What a day. We ran a lot and felt we started to build a foundation to new setups. We will regroup and look at what my teammates did and comeback with an even better plan to achieve the big dream of (Indianapolis 500 win) No. 4.
Defending Grand Prix of Indianapolis winner Will Power in the No.12 Verizon Chevrolet was happy with how his day went saying:
(Testing was) good. It is definitely different, and we went through a lot of changes today, but it feels the same when you get the balance right. Pretty productive day for the Verizon Chevy team with all four cars trying things. So now, we have to go digest the data and see what works best. With four cars, you focus on your own car and keep working until you find what works best and what you struggle with. Then you go to the engineering trailer and get all the data from all four cars and what worked and what didn’t. That is why multiple cars work so well.
Simon Pagenaud who will drive the No.22 Menards Chevrolet was happy with how his day went at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday. The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series champion commented by saying:
lways such a pleasure to drive here. Having the opportunity to be one of those drivers to hit the track 240 mph, it’s pretty cool. We did a lot of work today. It was really a good day of testing. Great day, great conditions for testing, as well. Universal aero kit is quite different. It behaves quite a bit different to what we’ve been used to the last few years. But overall, it’s quite decent. The car is very stable. It sucks up pretty well on the straightaway. I think the racing is going to be interesting. You can see the times. Makes a big difference, too. Overall, I think it’s still early days to tell how your car is going to behave in traffic. We’re just scratching the surface at the moment with what we need to go out and try to win the race. Very good first impression. Like I say, we didn’t made a lot of different changes. We had something quite radically different this afternoon than this morning. We’re going to go back to the shop and study all that with the engineers and try to figure out the sensitivity of the car. That’s the biggest key.
The IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from May 10 – 12 for more details visit – https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/grandprix/buy-tickets