AVONDALE, Ariz. - Over four three-hour blocks of sessions, from 3 to 6 and 8 to 11 p.m. ET (or 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. MT and local time) both today and tomorrow, the Verizon IndyCar Series will be extra busy banking a boatload of laps at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway. Streaming is available via racecontrol.indycar.com.
This marks the only full-field open test of the preseason and with reduced team testing in 2017, an important one from a data gathering and chemistry building standpoint.
The season kicks off in St. Petersburg on March 12, and returns to NBCSN in Long Beach April 9.
Among the items to watch:
- How many Hondas will be able to break through into the top-10 in speeds, and whether any would be achieved by qualifying sims versus race setups
- Whether Honda has made necessary power unit gains to account for the expected deficiencies in its Road Course/Short Oval (RC/SO) aero kit package compared to Chevrolet, as Honda struggled on these short ovals
- The progress of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams (Honda) and A.J. Foyt Enterprises (Chevrolet) with their new aero kits and engines
- The first integration of the crew/strategists swap at Team Penske, for the Nos. 2 (Josef Newgarden) and 12 (Will Power) cars
- The new drivers with new teams: Newgarden (Penske), JR Hildebrand (Carpenter), Sebastien Bourdais and Ed Jones (Coyne), Conor Daly and Carlos Munoz (Foyt) and Takuma Sato (Andretti)
- How rookie Jones comes up to pace in his step up from Indy Lights
- Whether Mikhail Aleshin and Alexander Rossi will take advantage of extra testing at this test they didn’t have last year. Aleshin missed it owing to a visa issue while Rossi had only just been signed, so didn’t have his car set yet
- How different the track conditions will be from an expected mid-80s high today to about 10 to 15 degrees cooler on Saturday
- Whether any cars will run in bunches, closer together, or more spread out for primarily single-car runs
- How weird it is to see Scott Dixon, temporarily anyway, in a blank white firesuit