The IZOD IndyCar Series makes another street course appearance in Canada this weekend for the 90-lap Edmonton Indy on the City Centre Airport circuit. The course has a new, and longer, layout this year that promises multiple passing opportunities and more racing action.
This will be Conquest Racing rookie Sebastian Saavedra’s first IndyCar career start at Edmonton, where he previously had two top-10 finishes in Firestone Indy Lights, but the 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit’s design will be new for all drivers.
“Edmonton is a unique place to race,” the driver of the No. 34 Bogota es Mundial car said. “I’ve had good results here in the past, but that may not be an advantage, because the layout is going to be new for me as it is for everybody. Not having anyone know this track yet could be the advantage. I’m very comfortable getting to know new tracks quickly.”
Cars will run counterclockwise on the circuit that will offer lots of action for fans with its 90-degree first turn, a pair of hairpins at the north and south ends of the course, and a straightaway between Turn 13 and Turn 1 that is the second-longest on the IZOD IndyCar Series calendar.
“Edmonton is not the most peaceful race on the schedule,” Saavedra said, “but it is a very open track, not as tight with as many walls as Toronto. I think we’ll still see a fair amount of cautions. This is a very physical track as well, so fitness will be a huge consideration in the results. Exhaustion might be the cause of some yellows.”
Finishing the race is the goal for the weekend, in which luck may play a role. Saavedra has been competitive on the road/street circuits, finishing just outside the top-10 at Brazil in his top performance so far. But contact has taken him out of the season’s last three races.
“After an interesting weekend in Toronto with lots of big improvements, I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum here. I’m going to try to get a good set up – having a good car is the main goal. We were unlucky in Toronto, and we need to finish this race, so we may approach it conservatively.”
This weekend’s race is the 10th in the IZOD IndyCar Series’ 17-race schedule. With half of his rookie season behind him, Saavedra reflected on the learning curve.
“So far, this has been a learning season,” the 21-year-old said, “with lots of challenges that I’ve never had before – not only as a driver, but as a person. I try to take something positive out of every situation. I’m looking forward to getting some good results and gaining points in the next half of the season."
By: conquest racing