Chevrolet Indycar at Road America: Team Chevy Practice One Report

  • Alexander Rossi, No. 7 Arrow McLaren INDYCAR Chevrolet, set the fastest lap in practice one at Road America for the NTT INDYCAR Series – One Minute, 41.7790 seconds/141.978 mph
  • In eight starts, Rossi has one win, one pole and three podium finishes
  • Rossi’s Arrow McLaren teammates Pato O’Ward, No. 5 Chevrolet and Felix Rosenquist, No. 6 Chevrolet both posted top-10 times on the newly repaved 4.02-mile, 14-turn natural road course.
  • Current NTT INDYCAR Series track record is One Minute, 39.866 seconds set in 2000 by Dario Franchitti
  • With new surface, several drivers may set a new mark during Saturday qualifying
  •  All 27 drivers in this year’s Road America field broke the 2022 pole time of One Minute, 44.8645 set by Rossi

Saturday’s schedule will start with another practice at 9:55 am for one hour. Firestone Fast Six qualifying is scheduled to begin at 12:55 pm.  A final warm-up will start race day Sunday at 9:15 a.m. CT. All practice and qualifying will be live on Peacock, INDYCAR Radio and SiriusXM Channel 160. The 55-lap, 220.77-mile race Sunday, June 18 will take the green flag at 12:25 p.m. CT live on USA Network. All times are Central Time.

 

Press Conference Transcript: Alexander Rossi

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Wrapping up day one here at beautiful Road America. We’re currently joined by P1, Alexander Rossi, driving the No. 7 Arrow McLaren Chevrolet. 2019 winner here at Road America and last year’s pole winner as well.

75-minute session. Did you get everything out of that?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: No, I don’t think you ever get everything out of it. I’m so nervous when James is around (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, James Hinchcliffe has left the building.

ALEXANDER ROSSI: You never get all you want out of it because usually you’re limited on the amount of tires you have and everything.

It was interesting for us, having tested here last week, to understand the difference in the tire that Firestone brought for this weekend because no one that tested here had the actual tire. Obviously trying the reds for the first time. So it was an interesting session.

Yeah, definitely lots to digest overnight.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll begin with questions.

Q. (No microphone.)

ALEXANDER ROSSI: It’s everywhere, right? With the new surface, there’s more grip. Yeah, I mean, it’s every single corner quite honestly.

Q. (No microphone.)

ALEXANDER ROSSI: Really you don’t do anything different. I think it’s just there’s more potential from the car and the tire, so you have to have probably a higher level of commitment than you did last year.

Last year with the surface, I never thought it was particularly bumpy, but the car slid around on the track quite a bit more than it does now. It’s quite a bit in the track, similar to what Watkins Glen was like when it was repaved, what Barber was like when it was repaved. You feel the car digging in more than you did before. But everyone has that advantage now.

Really your approach is no different whether it was low grip or high grip.

Q. (No microphone.)

ALEXANDER ROSSI: I think we as a group would be pretty disappointed, considering we tested here, if we didn’t roll off the truck pretty strong. I think it’s still early days.

But, yes, certainly the potential is there. It wasn’t a very clean run or laps by me, so I think there’s certainly quite a bit more in it, which is a good sign.

So, yeah, it’s just about really diving into, again, the tire differences because it’s a chunk slower than our pace in testing. So understanding the differences there and making any adjustments to the car to kind of combat that going into tomorrow.

Obviously track evolution is going to continue being a thing, and other cars are going to keep improving, so you can’t stay still, you have to keep improving.

Q. Question about the speed of the reds versus blacks.

ALEXANDER ROSSI: They weren’t faster. I mean, there was areas where they were faster, but a lot of guys didn’t improve. It wasn’t just me. I had fairly clean laps, so it wasn’t like traffic or lock-ups or anything like that. We’ve had it before. Same for everyone.

But it certainly changes I think the strategy going into qualifying a little bit. That being said, I don’t think that the reds are going to continue being slower, but I think it’s certainly going to take an adjustment from what people usually do blacks to reds specifically for this weekend compared to other events that we’ll go to.

Q. Question about track rubbering in.

ALEXANDER ROSSI: Man, I don’t know that I remember last year long enough to know that specific detail (smiling). Yeah, I can’t answer that.

I think as more cars run and everything, that will obviously make the grip level continue to grow. But it’s also very slippery offline, so that’s an interesting thing. I think that’s going to be the most interesting part of the race. Yes, the surface is a much higher grip when it has rubber on it. When there isn’t rubber on it, it’s borderline the same if not lower grip. It will be interesting to see how that offset from offline to online continues to grow.

Q. (No microphone.)

ALEXANDER ROSSI: No. I think it’s probably just really turn one, which obviously was pretty famous when Scott posted the onboard of it. So I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s more grip available than there used to be, you’re carrying more speed, so that kind of jump has more of an effect.

I know the series has tried to resolve that. I don’t know if it will be solvable for this weekend. It’s interesting. Like, they repaved the whole circuit, but they didn’t redo the curbs. That’s kind of cool, but it’s also a little bit strange.

But, yeah, as I said, offline it’s also very slippery. That probably plays into it as well.

Q. Obviously they’ve worked hard to keep the shape of the corners the same. Do any of the corners feel different, how you approach them? Any corners that stand out as being different at all?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: No, no. Not at all. Like I said, it’s just a global grip increase. But, no, I would say all the corners, like the driving styles, the characteristics of it, like turn six is super sketchy going up the crest. I would say it’s all very much the same. Just higher corner speeds.

Q. Do you feel 39 is out of reach, the pole record, or do you think it’s a possibility?

ALEXANDER ROSSI: What is it, a 39.8 or something?

THE MODERATOR: Yes.

ALEXANDER ROSSI: We can do that (smiling).

GM PR