Regions of the United States might be gripped in a historic heat wave, but Romain Grosjean couldn’t help but think of a fun winter activity when he tested last week at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Grosjean said he turned around 80 laps in testing June 22 on the undulating, 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course in his No. 51 NURTEC ODT Honda fielded by Dale Coyne Racing with RWR. He and the team are preparing for The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by the HPD Ridgeline on Sunday, July 4 (noon ET, NBC and INDYCAR Radio Network).
“The track at Mid-Ohio was really fun,” Grosjean said. "It was very slippery at the beginning when we started driving, but then things got better in the afternoon. I would compare it to Brands Hatch in the UK.
“It does feel like a skiing slope, going up and down, and I really enjoy that. Reminded me of skiing up in the hills.”
Frenchman Grosjean is enjoying a strong rookie year in INDYCAR after 10 seasons in Formula One, especially in qualifying. He has started in the top seven in five of his six events this season, including his first career NTT P1 Award at the GMR Grand Prix in mid-May on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Grosjean's race results also haven’t been too shabby. He finished second in the GMR Grand Prix and fifth in the last event, the REV Group Grand Prix presented by AMR on June 20 at Road America.
Each test session is important for Grosjean, who never raced on any of the INDYCAR circuits before this season. He is competing in the 12 road-and-street course races this season.
Grosjean was satisfied with the one-day test at Mid-Ohio because the team completed its entire checklist of planned tasks.
“The test helps because I know the track, and we were able to try a few things on the car,” he said. “We were not doing pure setup work because the conditions are going to be a lot different on race weekend, but at least we were able to try a few things on the car that we have wanted to test for some time. That’s obviously the beauty of being a rookie.”
Practice starts Friday at 2:30 p.m. (ET), with live coverage on Peacock. Saturday’s action includes practice at 9:05 a.m. (live on Peacock), NTT P1 Award qualifying at noon (live on Peacock, 11 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN) and final practice at 3:30 p.m.
The 80-lap race is set for noon Sunday, live on NBC and the INDYCAR Radio Network.