August 10 — Indy Lights and Pro Mazda teams tested today at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois in preparation for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline race weekend on August 25-26. The Indy Lights Presented By Cooper Tires and Pro Mazda Presented By Cooper Tires series will take to the freshly-paved 1.25-mile oval in preliminary races prior to the start of the Verizon IndyCar Series race.
Juncos Racing of Indianapolis tested Indy Lights cars with drivers Kyle Kaiser and Nicolas Dapero today. Kaiser is the current Indy Lights points leader and Dapero is a rookie. Both enjoyed testing on Gateway’s new asphalt.
“The new pavement is very different and a lot faster,” said Kaiser. “There’s a ton of grip out there. So, everything we had from testing here in the off season, we pretty much threw away and we’re starting fresh. With the smoother asphalt you can run the cars a lot lower, which generates a lot more downforce. Race conditions probably will be similar to today. We’re getting a good baseline and we can work off that for the race.”
Kaiser needs only a top-five finish at Gateway to clinch the Indy Lights crown. What would it mean to him to lock up the 2017 title in St. Louis, prior to the season finale at Watkins Glen in September?
“It’s everything. That’s definitely the goal,” said Kaiser, who has three wins and three poles this season. “But I’m coming in to win this race. It would be a great race to win. I love the track. I feel really quick out there. I think we’ve got the car to win this race.”
“It’s really good. We were able to come at the beginning of the year and the old pavement had bumps in Turns 3 and 4,” said Dapero. “Now, with the new pavement, we are able to go flat out. You get a better reading on the car — a better feeling — with the new pavement. I think we made a big improvement from the last test we did here. More speed and more consistent lap times.”
“This is my first year in Indy Lights and I really am learning,” Dapero added. “It’s a tough series and I didn’t know some of the tracks. The level of competition is really high and I am learning from my teammate. We are having a good season.”
Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline
In addition to America’s best drivers, the inaugural Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline also will draw competitors from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Tickets for the inaugural Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Valvoline may be purchased online at www.wwtraceway.com/indycar/ or by calling the GMP ticket office at (618) 215-8888. Tickets start at just $35. Kids 15 and under are free (general admission) with a paid adult.
For more information on Gateway Motorsports Park, please call (618) 215-8888. Follow GMP on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Join the conversation at @GatewayMSP and #Bommarito500.
About Gateway Motorsports Park
Gateway Motorsports Park is the home of INDYCAR, NASCAR and NHRA racing in the St. Louis region. Located just five minutes from downtown St. Louis and covering more than 340 acres, Gateway Motorsports Park is the largest outdoor entertainment facility in the area. Gateway Motorsports Park’s facilities include a 1/4-mile drag strip, 1.25-mile superspeedway, 1.6-mile road course, a state-of-the-art Karting facility and a 14-acre, multi-purpose dirt off-road venue.