Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global
IndyCar Road America

Rossi: Track record still possible despite struggles on reds

Arrow McLaren’s Road America practice pacesetter Alexander Rossi says that the 22-year-old track record could still be broken on Saturday, despite drivers struggling for pace on soft tires in practice.

Alexander Rossi, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

The new tires that Firestone has brought this weekend to the recently-repaved iconic four-mile road course in Wisconsin adds another variable for teams to juggle with. Although overall times were much faster than last year, there wasn’t the expected jump in speed on alternate rubber.

Rossi lapped under Alex Zanardi’s fastest-ever Road America race lap in practice on Friday but did so on Firestone’s harder primary tire. Drivers struggled to improve on the softer alternate rubber, but Rossi believes there are gains to be made ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

“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,” he said.

“Obviously [we were] trying the reds for the first time. So, it was an interesting session. Yeah, definitely lots to digest overnight.”

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Patricio O'Ward, Arrow McLaren Chevrolet

Photo by: Jake Galstad / Motorsport Images

Rossi’s team-mate Pato O’Ward lapped in the high 1m40s range in testing, but the quickest time today was a second slower than that, despite the 75-minute session following an Indy NXT practice on a similar compound.

“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,” added Rossi. “It's just about really diving into 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.”

Rossi is confident that teams will better tune their cars in to the softer tires but admitted it could mean a divergent approach in Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions.

“They weren't faster,” he said of the alternate rubber. “I mean, there were areas where they were faster, but a lot of guys didn't improve. It wasn't just me.

“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.”

When asked if he can set a new track record this weekend – which was set by Dario Franchitti with about 300-more horsepower in 2000 – Rossi replied: “What is it, a 39.8 or something? We can do that.”

Read Also:

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation
Previous article IndyCar Road America: Rossi quickest in first practice for McLaren
Next article IndyCar Road America: Palou shunts, Dixon and Power clash physically in FP2

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global