Today was Media Day for the IndyCar series and of course the event was held in Austin, Texas. Well of course it was. Having attended preseason media day in the past, it is an opportunity to hear from the new drivers, old drivers in new rides and the series officials themselves on what they think the up coming season will bring. Why Austin when the series opens in St. Petersburg, Florida and much of the racing takes place in the midwest including two races in Indianapolis?
This year the series will be racing at Circuit of the Americas in Austin on March 24 for the first time. The track is well known for hosting MotoGP and F1. It is a technical track with a couple of high speed sections. COTA has produced some exciting racing in the series that have raced there, now it will be IndyCar’s chance to shine in the Texas sun.
A couple of Swedes lead the new drivers part of the season. Marcus Ericsson driving for Arrow Schmidt Peterson in the 7. Felix Rosenqvist also of Sweden will debut in the 10 for Chip Ganassi Racing. It has been 15 years since the two have raced against each other in karts.
DragonSpeed enters five races this year as a rookie team and driver with Ben Hanley in the Chevrolet powered entry. Hanley and team will be at St. Petersburg, Barber, the 500, Road America and Mid-Ohio. DragonSpeed is expected to be full time in 2020.
Other rookies in the series include Santino Ferrucci at Dale Coyne, Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta both at Harding Steinbrenner Racing. Ferrucci has had some limited time in Indy Car and teams with Sebastien Bourdais. O’Ward and Herta both drove Sonoma for Chevrolet powered Harding racing, this year the team makes the switch to Honda.
In the old driver new ride catagory, Conor Daly will be racing with Andretti Autosport with Air Force backing. Jordan King moves to Rahal Letterman Lanigan from Ed Carpenter Racing. Ed Jones will be at Ed Carpenter from Ganassi.
Preseason testing kicked off at a rainy Luguna Seca and will continue tomorrow Feb. 12 and Wednesday at COTA. The actual racing season kicks off March 10 on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Races Mar. 24 at COTA, April 7 and 14 at Barber Motorsports Park and Streets of Long Beach lead up to the month of May at Indy.