Greetings from Austin. The crazy, turbulent off season is over. We have seen a huge change in ownership of the NTT Indycar Series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, champion drivers summarily dropped from their rides, new associations formed. But we are now past that and we are, I hope just one day away from cars running on track at Circuit of the Americas.
The weather may have something to say about that. The forecast from Indycar Weatherman Sunday night around 6 pm:
Wednesday looks more favorable, especially temperature wise. It is a wait and see game. Today is media day and a lot of stories and some livery reveals are on tap. Losing an entire day of running will be frustrating. There are several things teams were looking to find out in the two day test.
First Aeroscreen Test for Some Teams
Some teams have not tested with the aeroscreen as of yet. They were hoping to use these two days to gather a lot of information and get feedback from their drivers. I don’t know if lack of track time will be a huge setback for a team as far as the aeroscreen goes. Most drivers and teams who have tested with seemed to adapt quickly.
Aeroscreen in Traffic
COTA was to be the first time cars ran in traffic with the aeroscreen. Everyone wants to see how the new device affects passing and how air comes off the cars with the screen. Until the green flag at St. Pete, we won’t have an idea of how a closely bunched field will affect turbulence.
New COTA Track Limits
Drivers will get a chance to test the new turn 19 track limits this week. In last year’s race cars could go outside the track in turn 19, creating a wider arc. The new limits involve a timing loop which the cars must pass over, staying on the intended track surface. The result will probably be slower lap speeds. How will the racing be affected by the track limit?
In Car Cameras
Indycar plans to check locations of the in- car cockpit cameras during the test days. A place for a camera was built in to the top center of the aeroscreen frame. I don’t think it would be hard to change or add locations in the frame.
The rookies, Rinus VeeKay, Oliver Askew, Alex Palou, and Scott McLaughlin will get some on track experience against the series veterans. I will watch their times, keeping in mind this is still a test.