IndyCar » 5 September 2013
Rahal and Briscoe positive after Indy road course test
The possibility of a second race date on the IZOD IndyCar Series calendar for Indianapolis Motor Speedway inched closer after Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe spent the day there testing road course options.
If the immediate aim of this week's testing of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course is to see whether it would be suitable to stage an IZOD IndyCar Series race on, then the answer appears clear: it is, with both Graham Rahal and Ryan Briscoe giving the option a big thumbs-up after spending Wednesday evaluating different configurations.
"It's a little different going the opposite way around, but it's actually not a bad track," said Rahal at the end of his day's work in the #15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car. "Everybody knocks it, but I've had some fun.
"We're all here for the Month of May anyways, so let's put on another good show and give the fans something else to see," he continued. "It's a totally different form of racing. The only oval race that should be here in my eyes is the Indy 500, but there's no reason not to do a road race. I think it would be awesome."
"It's a pretty good track, actually," agreed Briscoe, who'd been at the wheel of the #4 National Guard Panther Racing car on Wednesday. "It's got a lot of high-speed corners. Turn 13 is really fast," he added, referring to what is turn 1 on the oval superspeedway. "A lot of high load in the steering wheel and very different to what we do here on the 2.5-mile oval.
"I heard rumours of the beginning of May to kick the month off, and that would be fine," Briscoe added when asked about the possibility of racing here as part of the IndyCar season. "Any time we're here at Indy would be great."
Rahal had arrived with his mind made up about using any part of the oval track, but admitted that his feelings on the matter had been quickly changed after he had tried out the configurations that included IMS's famed first turn.
"When I showed up, I thought we shouldn't use turn 1 at Indy, we shouldn't run on the oval at all," he said. "But I think that's what is going to make the racing so good. If you're leading on the last lap, you're bound to get passed by anyone within eight car lengths. The tow someone would get down the front straight would be massive.
"How do you put a quick lap in? Do you set up the car to go for the front straight or the infield?" he explained. "That could be an intriguing mix race day. Having a straightaway this long, with the top speed of about 190, it's quite a mix. I think that would make the racing extremely exciting here."
Rahal and Briscoe tried running running the road course in both clockwise and anticlockwise directions to see which way round best suited the current DW12 Dallara used in the IZOD IndyCar Series."It's a really different feeling going the other way," said Briscoe. "It was definitely strange to be coming off the wrong way on the frontstretch."
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