First 2021 season test at Sebring…

by Steve Wiitch of Trackside Online

The first team test in preparation for the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season took place at Sebring International Raceway in central Florida. Taking part in the test were drivers from A.J. Foyt Racing, Carlin, and Chip Ganassi Racing.
It should come as no surprise that reigning NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing) led the way with a lap unofficially timed at 52.320 seconds; however, it was close with teammates Marcus Ericsson, Álex Palou, and A.J. Foyt Racing’s Sebastien Bourdais all within three-tenths of a second of Dixon.
Today’s times compare favorably to a March test on the same circuit last spring.
The teams are utilizing the 1.7-mile, 10-turn Club Circuit. With several 90-degree corners, varying surface materials, and bumps in the braking areas, the shorter of the two circuits at the former US Army Air Base does an admirable job standing in for a street-circuit. With the six street circuits on the 2021 calendar accounting for one-third of the points on offer, nailing a solid base-line set-up for the concrete canyons is a must.
The seven drivers turned 907 laps, with seven-time NASCAR champion Johnson the busiest, completing 160 circuits (272 miles) of the 1.7-mile, 10-turn circuit.
Johnson and Carvana Racing posted the following video with an update on testing. is where we insert our usual corollary that testing times don’t matter. Teams will have different drivers working on various programs, so don’t read too much into the times.
Unofficial timing results from NTT INDYCAR® SERIES private team testing at Sebring International Raceway on January 18, 2021.
RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM ENGINE QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS1 9 Scott Dixon Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 52.320 1093 8 Marcus Ericsson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 52.417 -0.097 1272 10 Alex Palou Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 52.455 -0.135 1214 14 Sebastien Bourdais AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevy 52.589 -0.269 1165 59 Max Chilton Carlin Chevy 52.890 -0.570 1396 4 Dalton Kellett AJ Foyt Enterprises Chevy 52.962 -0.642 1357 48 Jimmie Johnson Chip Ganassi Racing Honda 53.691 -1.371 160The same track will busy with nine drivers tomorrow; four from Andretti Autosport, one from Meyer-Shank Racing, a pair from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, one from Carlin, and one from A.J. Foyt Racing.
AnnouncementINDYCAR and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are announcing a significant Race for Equality & Change initiative development involving the 105th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on Tuesday morning.
I (Steve) plan to be in attendance.
Silly seasonSilly season is close to being played out.
TSO understands that James Hinchcliffe and Andretti Autosport are close to finalizing a budget for a full season effort.
We are waiting to hear back from Dale Coyne Racing on a timeline for their announcements, but TSO expects the Plainfield, Ill.-based team to field a pair of cars in 2021.
Carlin is expected to be back with Max Chilton on the road course and for the Indianapolis 500. A second car is a big question mark at this point.