Ryan Briscoe will start from the back of the field in this weekend’s IZOD IndyCar Series race at Pocono as a clashing ALMS race will prevent him from taking part in qualifying.
The Australian is set to make his fourth start of the season for the former championship-winning team this weekend, but he will have to skip qualifying on Saturday as it clashes with the American Le Mans Series race at Lime Rock, where he will race for Level 5 Motorsports.
Briscoe, who tested at the tri-oval with Panther last week, will take part in another test on Thursday before heading to Lime Rock and returning to Pocono for Sunday’s IndyCar race.
“It’s great that Panther is giving me the opportunity to race at Pocono even though I won’t be here Saturday for practice and qualifying,” said Briscoe. “It will be a busy weekend. Fortunately I will be able to prepare the car for the race and it was a big bonus having the test day last week and then the open test on Thursday.”
Briscoe added that he and Panther have been able to focus purely on race set-up as he is not taking part in qualifying.
“Last week we spent our time working on race prep and we worked hard trying to find something that will get us through the field on Sunday,” he said. “Pocono’s a big track and it’s a long 400-mile race, so we feel confident even having to start at the back. I know the crew will work hard, and with all the track time we’ll have on Thursday, we can get to the front.”
IndyCar announced a minor change to the aerodynamic regulations for its first race at Pocono since 1989. Following feedback from drivers after last week’s test, the underwing strake – which adds downforce – has been added to the list of optional parts that teams can run this weekend.