A three-time Verizon IndyCar Series champion, Chip Ganassi Racing team member Scott Dixon is certainly accomplished in racing.
However, Dixon, along with other IndyCar drivers, will be running in their first Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana from April 10-12.
On Wednesday, Ganassi’s team was at NOLA Motorsports Park to test out the track before the IndyCar Series’ March 8 race in Brasilla.
“It’s all about the show. Obviously you want to be very competitive as a team with the car and win the race,” said Dixon. “The track layout is definitely key to how the show is going to play out.”
Dixon said turns 1 and 10 are long straight areas, which is conducive to passing.
“It’s a great opportunity for passing,” said Dixon. “It’s quite bumpy, which makes different characteristics to the car and how you tune it. For drivers, it makes it quite interesting.”
Sage Karam finished ninth last year in the Indianapolis 500 after starting 31st and will be racing in his first full season.
“Hopefully, I can just do the best I can,” Karam said. “I’ve got a great team here and great teammates. If I can just keep it in the ballpark with them, I think it’s going to be a good year for us, all of us.”
Karam said the bumpiest part of the track is around the start-finish line.
“It’s a pretty fun track for me. It’s a bit physical, which is good,” Karam said. “Us drivers, we want to be pushed to our limits. I’m feeling it in my neck right now. It’s a little bit bumpy, but that just adds to the physicality of this place.”
Charlie Kimball will be starting his fifth year and earned his first career win in 2013. While he did not win a race last year, he aims to be out in front by the time of the April race.
“I think one of the big things is, we did get that win in 2013. We didn’t win a race in 2014, but we had some challenges,” Kimball said. “I think we’ve got the opportunity to come on strong in 2015.”
While Kimball said the track provides a lot to learn, he did like the laps were longer than 50 to 60 seconds. Kimball said his laps were in the 80s.
“We had a couple of issues to work through, but ran a few laps this morning,” Kimball said. “I’m still learning it, there’s a lot to learn. It’s got plenty of length to it, which is really nice.”