IndyCar – Romain Grosjean talks about his first experience on an oval circuit

Last Tuesday, Romain Grosjean carried out his first test on an oval circuit in order to prepare for the Gateway race, which will take place on August 21. A first experience that he considered « very interesting ».

At the start of the year, when he joined his first IndyCar season, Romain Grosjean immediately announced thathe would not drive on an oval circuit. Encouraged by promising results, the French pilot finally changed his mind. On August 21, he will therefore participate in his first race on an oval circuit in the thirteenth round of the championship, which will take place at Gateway Motorsport Park.

A confrontation with the unknown

In order to prepare, Romain Grosjean carried out a test on the Gateway circuit last Tuesday, during which he completed 166 laps. A first experience which allowed the driver of the Dale Coyne Racing team to get rid of preconceived ideas he had on oval circuits. “Anyone who thinks oval racing is easy is wrong. It’s complicated. And in reality, you can do a lot with the car. I was the first to think that it was enough to turn left and to be full throughout the bend. But obviously, at Gateway, the bend is not flat and there is a lot to do, « he told our colleagues at Motorsport.

New habits to take

It seems like Romain Grosjean is rather satisfied with this first experience. « It’s all about the feel and we got to something good with the car. We weren’t as fast as we could have been in qualifying but I think we have a good car and we know that. that we can do to improve it, « he said. But to be as comfortable as on road or urban circuits, the Dale Coyne Racing driver is obviously going to need a little more training. It must in particular get used to the point of vision which characterizes oval circuits. Their configuration requires pilots to look very far ahead, despite a speed that sometimes exceeds 290 km / h. “Obviously I have a lot to learn, because it’s unlike anything I’ve done before. It’s probably an area where I can improve. I was looking a little too close to my front wheels. to make sure I put them in the right place. But the more you ride, the more you feel confident, ”he added.

Eyes on the race

Despite a first successful experience, Romain Grosjean remains cautious about the upcoming race. The former Formula 1 driver is well aware that the conditions of a test are very different from those of a race. « It was a test day and racing is always something else. I have to learn to run in a peloton on an oval. Conditions will change. So I wouldn’t say that I will arrive with confidence, but I will arrive. being prepared and I know what the car needs to be able to do so that I can be fast, ”he explained. Currently, it is placed in 16th place in the ranking pilots, just behind his compatriot, Sébastien Bourdais.

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