Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Quick Trip To The IMS Test

(Note: I'm on vacation until Monday, so I might not respond to email or comments as quickly as usual).

I was only able to escape from work for a few hours Wednesday afternoon, but it was enough time to take the family over to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to check out the new oval configuration for the DW12. I had been trying to follow updates as best I could during the day, but nothing replaces seeing it for yourself.

The first thing I noticed is that IMS was pretty busy, with a good crowd on hand. From the fence near Turn 1 to the Turn 2 viewing mounds, there was a noticeable concentration of fans.

My wife managed to snag a couple of photos of the new car. I really liked the look of Tony Kanaan's car; it was my first time seeing it in person, and if anything, it stands out even more than it appears to on TV. Here's a pic of TK going by:

Photo: Theresa Houghton
I found I did like the look of the new rear config on the car. It really does have sort of a "Batmobile" look to it. But what did I like even more than that? How about those turbo engines? They're remarkably quiet, especially compared to last year's normally-aspirated engine, but to me, they sound awesome. Here's a quick video I took with my phone. Have a listen:

Apparently, the top speed of the test was Marco's 218.6 mph (with a tow), with teams playing it safe before the Long Beach race. I really don't think it will be much of a push once these cars are really trimmed out to hit into at least the low 220s, if not around that 225 mark. They probably won't be as fast as last year's car, but I don't think they'll be hideously off, either. You got the sense this was a pretty conservative test overall.

The cars, the sounds, and the crowds were all great, sure, but I'm happy my wife and kids seemed to be excited as well to see the cars testing. It was a good afternoon--not that a fan can really have a bad one at IMS. It was great to see so many IndyCar fans in one place; sometimes, as an American open wheel fan, you can feel like you're isolated or crazy, even in Indiana. Wednesday helped remind me that we might indeed be crazy, but we aren't alone out there.


  1. Listening to your video is music to my ears! I can't wait to get out there in May!

    1. Ken @AbuelosDeTreceApril 6, 2012 at 6:33 AM

      Same here! Cars sound great!