James Hinchcliffe ended an injury-enforced layoff when he
tested at Road America last September (RIGH T). He also raced at
the Wisconsin road course several times in Formula Atlantic.
63 NEW TRACKS | indycar.com
4.048-MILE road coursE
road america, wis.
grand prix of road america
Road America is one of those
classic road courses. It just has
so much character. You go to
a newly-built circuit and it’s all flat, all
grandstands, and they all look pretty
similar with the exception of the color
of the walls and the color of the kerbs.
Road America gives you this old-school
feel, because visually it’s so different.
You’re driving through the woods, you’ve
got some cool elevation changes, you’ve
got some awesome turns…
The layout really feels organic. When I
first drove at Laguna Seca everybody was
mad at me because they’d be like, “What
do you think?” and I’d say, “It’s great, but
the Corkscrew ruins it.” You’ve got this
fast and flowing race track, and then that.
Road America doesn’t have one of those
kind of sections. Even the slow turns are
in exactly the right place; there’s the right
combinations of lefts-to-rights and
rights-to-lefts. I think everything about
that track is almost perfect.
And I think it will race well, because it
has such long straightaways. The only
problem we’re going to run into is that,
with the aero kits now and the downforce
they’re making, the braking distances are
almost non-existent. When we tested
there I was floored at how late you’re
braking into Turn 5, and how late you
brake into Canada Corner. But at least
you do have the long straights to build up
to those, so I hope that we’ll have enough
of a run on guys that you can decide
when you have to commit to the brakes
and not have to kind of lunge, because…
there’s not a whole lot of room to lunge.
For fans, those will be the places to
watch, for sure. We’re definitely going to
see a lot of action into Turn 1 and Turn 5.
Beauty with some bite... Long straights and
short braking distances will force drivers to
think hard about trying passing moves.