The Verizon IndyCar Series is testing in Phoenix tomorrow, but one team will head to Sonoma Raceway next week for another test open and free to the public.
Fans of the Verizon IndyCar Series will pack the grandstands at Phoenix International Raceway tomorrow as the track hosts IndyCar’s first league-wide test day of 2017. But if you can’t make it to Arizona, there will be further on-track action next week.
Sonoma Raceway, which is outside San Francisco, announced on Thursday that Ed Carpenter Racing is coming to their facility next Tuesday, Feb. 14 for a one-team test that will also be free and open to the public.
Drivers JR Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot will be driving on Sonoma’s road course in different sessions throughout Tuesday. The track will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for fans to watch the test.
Tickets to the 2017 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, which serves as the season finale of the IndyCar season, will also be available for purchase.
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Unlike Friday’s test in Phoenix the action at Sonoma Raceway only involves one team. Ed Carpenter Racing is looking to reinvent itself this year after star driver Josef Newgarden left for a ride with Team Penske. ECR promoted Indianapolis 500-only driver JR Hildebrand to be the team’s new full-time driver in the No. 21, while Spencer Pigot will be back for just his second season as he splits time in the No. 20 car with owner-driver Ed Carpenter.
There is no mention of Hildebrand or Pigot being available for any autograph session or public appearance, contrary to the limited autograph session taking place in Phoenix.
Tuesday’s team test is less a fan event and more for the die-hard IndyCar fan who wants to see how ECR will look this season. It’s a chance to see Hildebrand and Pigot in action as they continue to acclimate to their surroundings, and try to establish themselves as dark horse candidates for the Astor Cup.
While it may not have everything that the league test day has to offer, if for some reason you can’t make it to Phoenix tomorrow, then Sonoma on Feb. 14 is a solid alternative.
Just remember to properly identify JR Hildebrand:
The 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season starts in just over a month, on March 12 in St. Petersburg. For more upcoming events in the San Francisco area, visit the San Francisco section of Local POV here.