IndyCar drivers expect a smoother Nashville race with a new restart zone, tracking changes

IndyCar Nashville drivers

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Although he understands why the Music City Grand Prix’s problematic restart zone changed into its second year, it’s understandable why Marcus Ericsson wants the design to remain the same for IndyCar drivers.

Chip Ganassi Racing driver was caught in one of the many crowds at the opening event on the streets of downtown Nashville, But the detour is on lap 5 . who sent his number eight Dallara-Honda into the sky also helped Ericsson win the race.

Having made a pit stop and dropped a penalty, Ericsson switched to a great fuel conversation strategy that put him ahead of Colton Hertha, taking the lead for the last 25 laps.

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“Personally, I like the way it was last year, just for the way it turned out,” Erickson said. “But it does make the race a little better. More flow pp. That might be good because there were two places on the track, it might be too tight and maybe a bit crooked.

“I thought the challenge the track gave last year was really cool. When we talked to the drivers, everyone was enjoying the track last year, and just for certain reasons, there were a lot of accidents. The restart area was one of the issues.”

Eriksson met Sebastian Bourdys, who had braked to get into the green on the first restart mostly due to a final corner kick after a short distance on the spot on the 11-lap.

IndyCar tackled the wave of accidents by moving the restart area from the start and finish line to the long straight Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge entering Turn 9 (where the race began last year. The top of Turn 11 has been widened by 4 feet to provide more visibility into the narrower corner of the 2.1-mile track (which is in front of the Nissan Titans Stadium).

IndyCar has also narrowed Turn 9 by 25 feet (from 85 to 60 feet wide), which should provide more braking area in the slower corner, and facilitate transitions on and off the bridge, as well as a large bump in turn 5.

The changes reduced the street track length by 0.07 miles (and shortened the 80-lap race by 5.6 miles) and hopefully also reduced the number of crashes, long delays and stops. Last year’s race featured two red flags and 33 laps under yellow in the top nine warning flags of the season – five more than any other road or street track in 2021.

Arrow McLaren SP’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished eighth as one of only 12 of 27 drivers who avoided getting caught in any yellow at his Nashville debut, said. “I drove this track on a simulator with other changes, and frankly nothing really important. I thought Turn 9 looked tighter.

<em>Scott McLaughlin’s #3 Dallara-Chevrolet was one of three cars that participated in several warning flags at last year’s inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville (Josie Norris/Tennessean.com/USA Today Sports Images).</em>“data-src =” https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/_8fcqAjS.fyCeqZuHOMnMQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/ 1.2/OBchoBWPnfeO5V1NSpoLRQ–~B/aD0yMDAwO3c9MzAwMDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/nbcsports.com/864b6dec87b95d0826c08824><noscript><img alt=Scott McLaughlin’s #3 Dallara-Chevrolet was one of three cars that participated in several warning flags at last year’s inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville (Josie Norris/Tennessean.com/USA Today Sports Images).“src=” https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/_8fcqAjS.fyCeqZuHOMnMQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTY0MA–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/ OBchoBWPnfeO5V1NSpoLRQ–~B/aD0yMDAwO3c9MzAwMDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/nbcsports.com/864b6dec87b95d0826c088″ class88b77>

Scott McLaughlin’s #3 Dallara-Chevrolet was one of three cars that participated in several warning flags at last year’s inaugural Music City Grand Prix in Nashville (Josie Norris/Tennessean.com/USA Today Sports Images).

“It doesn’t really change much. It’s just a slower corner that would probably boost more overtaking because it was kind of fast last year, so I needed a lot of confidence to send it in there to pass someone. So the race is probably going to be better, hopefully that’s it.” We avoid the red flag deal this year.”

Herta, who scored 39 of 80 laps last year with dominant 26th-placed Dallara Honda before crashing into Turn 9 with five laps remaining while chasing Ericsson, said being in front could be an even bigger drawback in the new restart zone.

“It’s going to be tough if you’re a leader for a good jump,” said Herta. “It’s really a long straight exit from a really slow corner. I think it’s better, yeah, because we don’t want very long safety cars and the chaos of what happened at Turn 11 last year at the restart.

“I think it’s a good decision. It’s going to be tough as a captain, but it’s really long straight (and) now with a tighter Turn 9, maybe a very good braking zone. It’s going to be fun, though. It’s definitely going to boost some passing, and maybe the guys will check it out from The inside of Turn 8 before rebooting etc. It would definitely be interesting.”

On start and restart, the NTT IndyCar series is trying to give the field driving advantage to the green flag. Initially, the pod is in radio communication with race director Kyle Novak about the exact point of acceleration, and upon restart, the driver is given discretion on where to depress the throttle during a designated area.

In Nashville, the leader is expected to go full speed near the top of the 1,650-foot bridge (which is suspended 80 feet above the Cumberland River)—after the majority of the 26-car field exited the previous eighth turn.

Ericsson believes that the long direct route will also provide an advantage for extra cars

“I definitely think so because it’s also very tall,” he said. “When you do this restart there will be a lot of crafting and separate runs, and Turn 9 is quite an open entry. So it’s a good place to overtake. For the captain, that’s not ideal. The other spot was easier to jump and go forward and defend the position.

“It was very easy last year when you were in the lead because you couldn’t really get attacked where there is the restart zone. Whereas now, it will definitely be difficult for the captain to defend. You really need to restart well if you are going to defend your lead. in Turn 9 upon restart.”

Even if the race goes more smoothly in its second year, there could still be more changes to the track in the future depending on the further development of Nashville’s ever-exploding skyline filled with towering cranes.

“I think there are other changes we can make to the track in the future once there are some developments downtown,” said Joseph Newgarden of Nashville. “I know the promoters are really connected to this: How can we continue to develop this pathway?

“But I think we’ll have a much better surface this year. It’s always tough. You get on a track the first time, you don’t really get a good test run until you start racing at the weekend. If you leave the race at the weekend, and you go,” Well, now we know how to do it better?” I think they are ready for this year. (The reboot zone will be) much better.”

IndyCar drivers expect a smoother Nashville race with a new restart zone, tracking changes originally appeared on NBCSports.com


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