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September 03, 2013 | By IMS
Ryan Briscoe will join Graham Rahal in testing Sept. 4 on multiple configurations of the infield road course of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The test is being organized by IMS and INDYCAR officials to gather information about the current course layouts as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway considers changes and upgrades. Speedway officials plan to invest nearly $100 million in the facility as part of a long-term master plan that could include modifications to the road course to allow it to accommodate INDYCAR testing or racing in the future.
Drivers will utilize Turn 1 of the oval and the existing Turn 1 of the road course. The 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET) on-track activity is open and free for spectators to watch from the South Terrace grandstand and Turn 2 viewing mounds.
Briscoe, who advanced 11 positions relative to his starting spot to finish 12th in the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race on the 2.5-mile oval in May for Chip Ganassi Racing, will drive the Chevrolet-powered No. 4 National Guard Panther Racing car. It will be his first experience on the road course.
“I thought Sonoma would be the last time I would be driving an IndyCar for some time, so to get the invite to be part of this test is really cool," said Briscoe, who has competed in seven IZOD IndyCar Series races this season (six with Panther Racing) and most recently finished 17th at Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 25. "It’s always special to drive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – whether it’s on the oval or any other course. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Rahal, who will drive the Honda-powered No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing car, competed on the IMS road course in Formula BMW and Indy Lights.
Both are coming off races this past weekend on the 2.04-mile, 12-turn Baltimore street circuit -- Rahal in the Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT and Briscoe in the American Le Mans Series event.
Firestone Racing will provide three tire options, and both cars will use respective manufacturer engines instead of their current race engines.
“As we look to the future of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the goal is to make changes to the road course that provide the most flexibility for its potential use and create a layout that is entertaining for our fans and enjoyable for our drivers – whether it is for INDYCAR testing or racing, sports cars, MotoGP or other uses,” said J. Douglas Boles, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president.”
The only other time an IndyCar was tested on the IMS road course was in the fall of 2011 when two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon tested the current IZOD IndyCar Series Dallara chassis that debuted in 2012. Wheldon ran the 13-corner layout in clockwise direction only during the test session, which was used to develop the car, not for track information purposes.
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