A rare dusting of snow dots the hills of Monterey County. And with it those hills are alive with the sound of IndyCar. An unofficial test session was coordinated by all teams minus the new-for-2019 Harding-Steinbrenner Racing crew. IndyCar as an organization was essentially left out as the cars made their first laps around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. The first time doing so since the mid 2000’s.
Official timing and scoring wasn’t available for the event, which only had a single extended session. Most present, however, agreed that even the rookies looked quite quick.
That is to be expected. Many of the drivers are coming from Indy Lights and other race series, which provides a bit of experience at Laguna Seca. My personal prediction is that drivers like Zach Veach will be doing quite well come September when the series heads back to Monterey.He’ll still have a tough time with the likes of Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, and Josef Newgarden, of course.
In spite of the weather, attendance for the unofficial test was quite impressive. Most of the paddock was filled with visitors eager to see IndyCar back in Monterey. Even Helio Castroneves, who isn’t racing IndyCar this season outside of the 500, dropped by after a visit to the Acura Team Penske HQ in nearby Los Gatos, CA.
Next, the drivers trek to COTA for the official kickoff of the newly-renamed NTT IndyCar Series for another round of testing.