Aug 23, 2013, 10:28 PM EDT
Nestled in the heart of the California wine country, Sonoma Raceway is definitely contending for the title of “most beautiful setting” in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
But for the drivers, there will be no time to admire the surroundings in Sunday’s GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma (4 p.m. ET, NBCSN), as they navigate a circuit that is highly technical with multiple elevation changes and sharp corners.
Conditions tend to change quickly at Sonoma, and adding to the difficulty is the track’s low-grip surface. Taking care of this weekend’s batch of Firestone tires – the same ones that were used back in April at Barber Motorsports Park – could be the biggest factor of all in the end.
Judging from Scott Dixon’s comments earlier today, these tires may not last too long at peak performance before falling off considerably over a stint.
As far as passing zones are concerned, this year will be the second running on a course that received some tweaks for the IndyCars last season. If you may recall, Turn 7 got modified into a hairpin, Turn 9 was widened, and Turn 11 was extended.
They seemed to work well enough, but Sonoma’s winding layout – which doesn’t feature a particularly long straightaway – still puts emphasis on getting and keeping track position.
Video from NASCAR America
- Caterham the latest team to fall foul of the Leafield ‘curse’ 0
- Administrator takes over running of Caterham F1 Team 0
- Remembering the Hendrick Motorsports airplane tragedy: 10 years later, it still seems like just yesterday 3
- Talladega mystery: Did missing woman even make it to NASCAR race? Second fan to disappear in 18 months 11
- WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET for Martinsville outlook 0
- Caterham could miss Austin as crisis deepens at Leafield 2
- NHRA stunner: Jimmy Prock out as John Force’s crew chief 10