Photo from IndyCar
After a full day of testing the new oval aero kits at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar drivers and teams gained much knowledge in advance of the Indy 500 in three weeks’ time. Twenty seven cars and drivers appeared on the hallowed track in the oval kits’ on-track debut. It was a perfect 80 degree day for the initial test, which went swimmingly with well over twelve hundred incident-free laps turned.
The manufacturers definitely toned down the aero kits for the large ovals and their appearance met our approval, much more so than the road course kits. The Honda oval kits still look overblown with their “gull wings” on the rear, while the sleeker Chevys with minimal rear wings look attractive as well as fast on track. Chevy also had four of the day’s top five speeds, the top being in the mid-226 range, though without a tow from a leading car speeds were in the 223s.
Team Penske’s Juan Montoya was quickest on the day at 226.7 mph, with his team mate Helio in second. Andretti Autosport’s Marco Andretti jumped to third on the speed charts late in the day for top Honda. Will Power – who turned a large number of laps – continued to struggle as did last year’s 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay. Ed Carpenter was in the top five most of the day but dropped out at the end. Munoz impressed for AA, besting his team mates except for Marco. The testing speeds confirmed our suspicion – there’ll be no new track records at Indy this year.
In a nice nod to history at the Brickyard, Oriol Servia’s RLL car pays tribute to the famous Marmon Wasp which was driven by the first 500 mile extravaganza winner Ray Harroun in 1911. It’s dark yellow with similar numbering to the original and looks sharp, with a driver in Servia who knows his way around the place.