The Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana will be at the NOLA Motorsports Park on April 10-12, but before the race comes preparation for the drivers.
Both Team Pelfrey and Andretti Autosport participated in a two-day test session, and two drivers that will be driving in the Cooper Tires USF2000 series had high hopes for the new season that starts with the Brasilia Indy 300 on March 8.
Pelfrey will be fielding three cars in this year’s USF2000, including drivers will be Luke Gabin and Nikita Lastochkin.
The 2015 USF2000 season will have 16 races at eight venues.
Gabin came to the U.S. from Australia and won the 2014 Skip Barber Championship Scholarship Shootout in November. The win came with a $200,000 prize from Mazda Motorsports for moving to IndyCar’s entry-level series.
“It’s a huge help to get into USF because it’s quite an expensive series,” Gabin said. The scholarship kind of does it all for you. It gets you where you want to be. “
Gabin said he was learning the track, something that he hopes will be beneficial and translate to fast finishes.
“It’s pretty good. We’ve just been learning a new track,” Gabin said. “It’s a new configuration. Really, it’s only my second day in the car, just kind of testing for next season. We run quite a few races on this track, so the more testing we can get under our belt, hopefully the farther up front we can be.”
Nikita Lastochkin finished fifth in the race with Gabin and also will be racing in the USF2000 series next year
“It’s been pretty good so far. We’re just testing a few things,” Lastochkin said. “ The track’s pretty interesting. They added a new corner to the track that’s not quite there in terms of grip level because it’s new and a little bit dirty. It’s OK. It’s good.”
What stood out to him was the track’s lack of elevation.
“The track is quite flat. It doesn’t have a lot of elevation to it,” Lastochkin said. “But it’s a nice track. It has a little bit of everything.
“Turn one is a really fast corner where you have to fold a lot of speed in, so it’s a lot of fun.”