Tony Cotman of NZR Consulting says the overnight repairs to Turn 3 on the St. Petersburg course should stay solid for the remainder of the weekend.
Cotman, who serves as a track consultant and designer for IndyCar as well as race director for Indy Lights, said the pavement problems at the exit of Turn 3 that held up second practice for half an hour would not recur for the remainder of the weekend.
He told Motorsport.com: “The problem was that the manhole cover was not flush with the service, so the surface had been filled with cement to get it level. So it broke up there.
“I think initially when it was put in, it might have been a little high in the middle, slightly domed, so every time a car drove over it, it deteriorated. I mean, it was thick – a couple inches – and it cracked. But it’ll be fine, shouldn’t be a problem again.”
Cotman suggested that although it was an IndyCar session that was disrupted by the damage, they may not have been the root cause of the problem.
“It’s a bit weird actually, because it only seems to be on the racing line for about half the drivers,” he said. “There are some guys that are outside of it, and some guys right over it.
“But to be honest, I’m not sure the issue was created by IndyCars. There are a lot of marks out there around the surface that didn’t come from IndyCars. Problem is, IndyCar was the next session [after Stadium SuperTrucks] and if the damage had already been done, I think the IndyCars’ downforce sucked up the loose stuff and threw it around a bit.”
Cotman explained that IndyCar’s second practice being the last session of the day meant there was adequate time to repair the damage overnight.
He said: “We’ll level it off and then fill it with concrete. There’s quick-set and then longer-set concrete, and if you’ve got the time, you go for longer set and let it go overnight. Shouldn’t be a problem from here on.”