Mixed messages have been received regarding which track layout the IndyCar Series will use on its March debut at Circuit of The Americas. According to IndyCar competition president Jay Frye, the plans for the series’ first appearance at the site of the United States Grand Prix include using the same 20-turn, 3.4-mile configuration as the FIA Formula 1 series.
“I don’t anticipate any changes to our using the full circuit,” Frye told RACER.
The possibility of using one of COTA’s shorter configurations was floated, but appears to have been tabled.
“There were a few things that were discussed where we might test a different layout first, and then that might become permanent,” Frye added. “It would have been unique for us, but at this time, we don’t expect that will be the case.”
IndyCar’s heavier chassis specification and non-hybrid engine formula will ensure F1’s outright lap record at COTA will be preserved while the two series compete on the same layout.
The last time modern Indy car and F1 machinery used the same facility, Sebastien Bourdais set pole for the 2006 Champ Car event at Montreal with a lap of 1m20.005s in his turbocharged 2.65-liter Lola-Cosworth V8. In 2006 F1 qualifying at Montreal, Fernando Alonso went more than five seconds quicker in his 3.0-liter V10-powered Renault chassis, crossing the finish line with a best lap from Q2 of 1m14.726s.