The IndyCar Series is back in action this week as testing for the 2019 season begins with private outings at Florida’s Sebring International Raceway.
Dale Coyne Racing’s Honda-powered outfit kicks off the season on Sebring’s short course with two cars in action today, and once the Illinois-based outfit is finished, almost half of the field will take over the circuit on Tuesday.
Andretti Autosport and its four Honda entries, the two Ed Carpenter Racing Chevys, two Rahal Letterman Lanigan Hondas, the pair of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Hondas, and one Honda from defending series champions Chip Ganassi Racing will put 11 entries in motion.
So far, the two days at Sebring are the only tests planned ahead of February’s western swing where most of the field will spend Friday the 8th at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, then head to Circuit of The Americas for IndyCar’s Open Test in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 12-13.
“In a lot of ways, this off-season has gone by quicker than others,” ECR owner/driver Ed Carpenter told RACER. “The last time we were on track was for a test in October, and we’re happy to be in the Sunshine State to get our first test going, and then we have a little breather, and then it’s back to it at Laguna and COTA.”
With its most recent trip to Victory Lane coming in 2016, Carpenter is hopeful the engineering advancements made by his team will help ECR returnee Spencer Pigot, newcomer Ed Jones, and his own efforts on the ovals.
“It will be good to see how our off-season work has been and how it compares to the others,” he said. “I feel like every offseason we do a good job; I have confidence in our people and our processes, and we did a lot of things right last season, but had areas of improvement.
“Most of us hold onto our limited number of test days, and tomorrow’s always fun because we go play with our new ideas and it’s out first step to see how well we’ve done. One test day is not going to make or break your season, but you hope you come out and show well in that first test.”