Content in IndyCar, Grosjean ready to try oval racing at WWTR

Phillip Abbott/Motorsport Images

Content in IndyCar, Grosjean ready to try oval racing at WWTR

IndyCar

Content in IndyCar, Grosjean ready to try oval racing at WWTR

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With three NTT IndyCar Series races under his belt, Romain Grosjean likes the idea of staying in the North American championship for 2022 and beyond. The driver of the No. 51 Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing Honda heads into this weekend’s Detroit doubleheader as the most recent road course polesitter, and with a fine second-place finish at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, the Frenchman has certainly piqued the interest of his rivals.

As part of the 34-year-old’s future planning, he’s added the last oval of the season at World Wide Technology Raceway — formerly known as Gateway — to an original calendar comprised exclusively of road and street courses. It’s too early to say whether he’ll return next year and make a run at the championship by competing at every round, but the inclusion of WWTR suggests the 10-year Formula 1 veteran is considering all options.

“Time will tell,” Grosjean told RACER. “Gateway has been on my radar for some time, so I decided to race there after St. Pete; I talked with Dale and I said it’s what I would like to do. A lot of the guys are saying that it’s really good racing, so I want to get a taste for it, to see where it goes.”

Already excelling on IndyCar’s road and street courses, Grosjean is eager to reach beyond his comfort zone to try oval racing. Barry Cantrell/Motorsport Images

Unlike the superspeedways where Indy cars can run flat out, Grosjean likes the appeal of learning to race on an oval where the driver is required to work all the pedals on each lap.

“It’s a good one for me to start; it’s a short track, just less fast, and has a bit more braking and accelerating, which I feel confident with to start,” he added. “I will do some simulator work at Honda, that’s for sure. Also, I will have a test day; that’s mandatory for me as I’m a rookie, to go and do a test.”

Grosjean has seemingly found a happy home at DCRwRWR, which would make the Illinois-based team a leading candidate to retain his services in 2022. With the silly season on the horizon and the possibility of one or more vacancies at a few of IndyCar’s biggest teams, who knows if an oval-ready Grosjean would receive inquiries from the wealthier end of the paddock.

“Yeah, we’re getting into that season,” he said. “I am being super happy in the U.S., racing IndyCar. It’s a series that I love and that I feel good in it. So yeah, I see myself here for a bit of time, but obviously everything needs to come together. There’s great opportunities, and yeah, let’s see how that goes.”

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