Open Test: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Circuit
INDIANAPOLIS April 30, 2014—Veteran Takuma Sato and rookie Martin Plowman took to the brand new 2.439-mile, 14-turn road circuit inside the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway and came away with positive impressions.
“They’ve done a fantastic job in terms of laying down the road course,” said Sato. “The circuit, the corners, curbs—everything seems to be very, very well done. The track is very smooth and fun to drive. It’s nice to be back in Indy on a road course. It’s been a long time since I drove the road course here in F-1 and the layout is pretty different.”
Plowman was also complimentary, saying, “I like the track; it’s heavy-braking, it’s technical in a few places, has really fast change of direction corners, and it should be a good racing track in terms of overtaking. We should see a lot of passes and hopefully put on a good show for the fans.”
Sato turned 63 laps and posted a best time of one minute, 10.27 seconds in the No. 14 ABC Supply Honda.
“Interesting day,” said Sato. “In the morning it was a slow start because we had a little issue which caused a delay and the track condition was very green. In the afternoon, the track quickly rubbered down, so it got quicker and quicker. We tried a couple test items and I think we made good progress. Overall I think it was a productive day. We’re a little bit behind so we need to work really hard, but we collected valuable data for next week’s Grand Prix.”
Plowman posted 47 laps with a best time of one minute, 11.73 seconds in the No. 41 Alfe Heat Treating Honda.
“We accomplished a lot today,” said Plowman. “This morning, we encountered some problems and they bled into this afternoon’s session, so we were fighting fires, which I guess is a good thing that they happened now in testing rather than when it matters. I think we definitely made progress as the day went on but we were fighting a few problems here and there. They weren’t things that we could fix during the test day—they were overnight changes. We know we have time to gain from those things. From my side I felt like I got comfortable, and I’m confident when we come back here in a week’s time, we’ll be right there and challenging at the front.”
Scott Dixon, who ran 82 laps, was quickest of the 25 drivers present with a time of one minute, 9.59 seconds.
Practice for the Grand Prix of Indianapolis starts Thursday, May 8 with qualifying set for Friday, May 9. The race will be televised live Saturday, May 10th at 3:30 p.m. on ABC-TV.