The competition season is over at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway but learning season is in full swing.
On Friday at IMS the road course was buzzing with the sound of a new Indy Lights car being put through its paces by Scott Dixon and James Hinchcliffe.
That’s right – two Verizon IndyCar Series regulars, just six days removed from their season finale, choosing more track time over downtime.
“It’s a lot of fun going through some setups and driving something different,” said Dixon, widely respected for his ability to “shake down” cars and provide feedback to crews.
And this new Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights chassis is certainly different, replacing a model that had run in the series since 2002.
“The biggest thing is don’t break it at this stage,” Hinchcliffe said, smiling. “It’s all about getting miles on the car and trying to contribute to the testing program as much as possible.
“Because this is the car that’s kind of grooming the young talent for the future of INDYCAR, Dixon and I were kind of joking that we were going to make it super, super hard to drive so nobody shines too well and we still have our jobs.”
Indy Lights testing continues on Saturday on the iconic 2.5-mile oval with 2014 Indy Lights champion Gabby Chaves. Road course testing returns then returns on Sept. 13-14 at IMS with some 40 cars expected to turn laps in the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test. Indy Lights, USF2000 and Pro Mazda cars will be on track.