Chat with Castroneves: ‘Coming to California to close the 2022 season’

Chat with Castroneves: ‘Coming to California to close the 2022 season’

And we reach the final stage of the 2022 season of the NTT IndyCar Series, which will take place this Sunday, the 11th, in Laguna Seca, California. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey will run 95 laps over a 3.6km permanent mixed circuit and will decide the champion. The main competition is between Penske drivers Will Power and Josef Newgarden, along with Scott Dixon of Ganassi. Power leads the championship with 523 points, followed by Newgarden and Dixon, tied with 503.

This dispute highlights two points that seem important to me. The first is the presence, again, of Penske and Ganassi in the decision. Despite IndyCar being competitive and balanced, allowing several drivers and teams to win throughout the year, the truth is that the more experienced teams always do a good job reaching the finals.

In the case of pilots, we can say the same thing. It’s great to see talented young people winning races and competing for titles, as was the case with Alex Palou last year, but experience plays a big role. It is further proof that it is completely wrong to attribute any decline in income to age.

The schedule at Laguna Seca will start on Friday with a free practice session, at 18:30, Brazilian time (always remembering that, at this time of the year, there is a four-hour time difference). On Saturday, before Qualifying, scheduled to start the First Questions at 18:05, we will have a second practice session, starting at 14:15. The race will start at 4:30 p.m., with live coverage on TV Cultura and ESPN/Star+.

Although I won by pole in 2000, my most vivid memories of Laguna Seca are of 2020, when Ricky Taylor and I, with the Acura Team Penske ARX-05, won the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship stage, a solid step toward that victory. title in the next race, at Petit Le Mans.

And speaking of Petit Le Mans, I will form the Meyer Shank team for this year’s championship final, scheduled for October 1 now, but we will talk about that later. But I can already say that it will be goodbye to Acura ARX-5, because in the championship of the 2023 model we will have a new car, ARX-06, which I can’t wait to try.

Meyer Shank Racing’s schedule at Laguna Seca will be the same as we have adopted all year, that is, we will do the tests that are already planned, trying to get the best results in a season that is very learning. May they all arrive in full force for the fulfillment of the 2023 calendar.

I am renewing here the invitation to follow this last race, which has a lot of emotions, especially when it comes to the championship decision.

That’s all. See you next week. Hugs to everyone!