Three weeks after completing the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season with a scintillating victory at Sonoma Raceway, reigning champion Scott Dixon is looking forward to the first on-track outing in preparation for 2016.
Dixon will be joined Sept. 22 by 10 other Verizon IndyCar Series drivers on the 4.048-mile Road America course for a team test. The offseason test window opened Sept. 14.
INDYCAR announced in August that the Road America Grand Prix on June 23-26 would be part of the 2016 schedule. Road America, which held its first race in 1955, hosted Indy car races from 1982-2007.
“I’m excited to go back. It’s one of the old-school American tracks that reminds me a little bit of Watkins Glen with the style of racing,” said Dixon, who claimed his fourth driver title with a series-high third victory of the season Aug. 30 in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. “We’ll work through a lot of things so when we come back next year we’ll be prepared to challenge for the win.”
The 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (local/Central) session is open to the public. Admission is $20, with $10 of each ticket sold donated to the Wilson Children’s Fund to benefit the family of the late Justin Wilson. Road America season pass holders will be admitted with a $10 donation to the fund.
To purchase advance tickets, visit www.roadamerica.com or call 800-365-7223.
Scheduled to participate, with car number in parentheses, at the venue in Elkhart Lake, Wis:
* AJ Foyt Racing: Takuma Sato (No. 14)
* CFH Racing: Josef Newgarden (No. 67)
* Chip Ganassi Racing Teams: Dixon (No. 9), Tony Karaan (No. 10), Sage Karam (No. 8), Charlie Kimball (No. 83)
* Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: Graham Rahal (No. 15)
* Team Penske: Helio Castroneves (No. 3), Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 2), Will Power (No. 12), Simon Pagenaud (No. 22)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team manager Ricardo Nault said the morning and afternoon sessions will provide an opportune transition from the 2015 season, in which Rahal recorded two victories and finished a career-high fourth in the standings, to 2016 with the No. 15 Honda-powered car and corresponding road/street course aerodynamic bodywork package.
“The next year starts the day after the final race and we have to capitalize on every opportunity,” Nault said. “There are a number of places where you want to test before the weather turns because once the season starts we won’t have any in-season testing, so we have a small window to test in the North.
“You definitely want to test at Road America to get an understanding of where you’ll be (with car set-up) next year. With Penske and Ganassi going, it will give us a baseline, too. I love Road America; it’s a great place to watch a race and a great place to go out and win.”