Two new teams confirmed their entry into the 2018 Verizon IndyCar series this week as off season testing wrapped up and points awarded for the Indy 500 were up for debate.
Here’s our round up of the news this week in IndyCar.
Michael Shank and Schmidt Peterson team up for limited 2018 campaign
Michael Shank Racing confirmed a partial 6-race entry for Jack Harvey in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series. The team will run in partnership with Schmidt Peterson Motorsport next year.
The successful IMSA and sports car team will dovetail their IMSA commitments with 6 races and 5 days of testing for Harvey. The team will run a Honda engine for the 2018 IndyCar season alongside a brace of the Japanese brand’s Acura NSX GT3s in IMSA.
Carlin steps up to IndyCar in 2018
After much speculation the graduation of IndyLights team Carlin Racing to IndyCar was confirmed this week. Featuring a two car line up of Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball, the squad will run Chevrolet engines next season.
The highly successful British team has a strong pedigree in open wheel racing. Team boss Trevor Carlin described the move as creating the final rung of a full career ladder. Carlin lamented the high costs of F1 for independent teams that led to the team’s decision to graduate to IndyCar.
Penske, Foyt and Ganassi test road course aero
Team Penske, AJ Foyt Racing, Schmidt Peterson and Chip Ganassi Racing were all in action this week as they completed testing of the 2018 universal aero kit.
Running in road course configuration Simon Pagenaud, Tony Kanaan, rookie Robert Wickens and Scott Dixon tested at Sebring. Former Ganassi driver Kanaan in particular was impressed with the new direction for IndyCar aero dynamics:
Speaking to RACER.com Kanaan said: “I like this car 100 percent better; I think the thing I struggled with in the past was … with all the downforce, and it never really fit me the way I like”.
IndyCar considers Indy 500 points changes
IndyCar is considering changing the points awarded to drivers for qualifying at the Indianapolis 500.
Jay Frye – IndyCar’s president of competition and operations – confirmed to Motorsport.com that the series is not happy with a the huge disparity in qualifying points awarded for the 500 compared to every other race on the IndyCar schedule.
However the series is likely to retain the much debated double points for the 500 and the season finale at Sonoma Raceway in 2018.
Wickens happy with first IndyCar test
Former DTM driver Robert Wickens conducted his first proper test as a Schmidt Peterson Motorsport driver this week. The Canadian who joins countryman James Hinchcliffe as part of a two car line up was running as part of Honda’s final manufacturer test of 2017.
Despite a recent testing crash by Hinchcliffe at Phoenix, Wickens was able to run just under 100 laps at Sebring Raceway in Florida.
Speaking to INDYCAR.com Wickens was happy with his testing debut: “It was really good for me to run through some Honda programs that they needed us to do and also get some time for myself to learn as I go. It’s been a very productive day”.