INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – IndyCar drivers James Hinchcliffe and Scott Dixon took to the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Thursday for Honda testing with the new IndyCar aero kits.
While the look of the revamped and streamlined design has already drawn acclaim from fans and drivers, Dixon and Hinchcliffe looked to learn more on the performance of the 2018 IndyCar on the sport’s most prestigious oval.
“It’s a very good-looking car, but I think the racing would never be a problem with the Verizon IndyCar Series, but I think this will make it better,” Dixon said.
Cold temperatures delayed the scheduled morning test until the afternoon. The test at IMS fell just days after testing on a smaller oval at Texas Motor Speedway. Both teams were looking to draw more data at IMS to compare performances.
“The Texas test kind of set us up nicely for being here at the speedway, but this is the one everyone really wants to know about, right, so we’re excited to get out there,” Hinchcliffe said. “Hopefully, Scott and I will get a chance to kind of run together and see how the thing behaves in traffic here as well, but on what we saw, I think it’s going to be a car that races really well.”
“On the oval, I was really impressed,” Hinchcliffe said of the Texas test. “When you take a new aero kit to an oval, it’s always kind of apprehensive at first, kind of feel it out see what it’s characteristics are, but it looks like it checked off all the boxes that we set to accomplish,” the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver added.
“I think we’ve already seen in the testing we’ve done on the speedway configuration speeds will probably be up,” Chip Ganassi Racing’s Dixon said. “Road course I think are going to be down just because of a lot less down force, but the racing will be significantly better in road course trim,”
Dixon’s newly announced Ganassi teammate, 2017 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Ed Jones, was at the speedway Thursday, as well, but did not test. Jones expressed his excitement to join the now two-car Ganassi team and eagerness to work alongside Dixon, a four-time IndyCar champion.
“I’m going to try and get everything out of Scott that I can,” Jones said. “Being with Chip Ganassi Racing is a big advantage overall. This is a fantastic opportunity.”