Texas Motor Speedway's 1.5-mile oval is the last of its kind on the 2012 schedule, and the next test scheduled to combat the problem of pack racing has now been postponed.
IndyCar announced to its teams on Friday the test will be delayed from March 13 until May 7, after the first four road and street races. A potential parts shortage in the run-up to St. Petersburg, plus Dallara's tweaking of its rear wheel guards were the major issues if the test went off, teams reported.
"With our teams in the midst of preparations for the first four road/street events of the season, it is more beneficial to move the oval Open Test to early May," said Beaux Barfield, president of competition, IndyCar. "Teams won't be forced to switch to an oval setup then back to a road course setup the week before the season opener under this new schedule. Additionally, this will open the door for teams to utilize this time for one last road course test before the season opener."
That said, the delay also bumps the test up against the start of practice for the month of May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway – the first oval race for the DW12. In all likelihood, it will reduce some track time for teams to begin dialing in their setups.
On an unrelated note to the test postponement, TMS track president Eddie Gossage (ABOVE) was in the news Friday anyway after making some comments disparaging the drivers, regarding recent talk of a potential boycott of the Texas race. In a RacinToday.com article, Gossage said of IndyCar drivers, “They just keep shooting themselves in the foot and I don't understand it.”
Gossage claimed the drivers felt the need to “consistently damage the sport,” and that the drivers, as spokespersons, “are tearing it down.”
The track's posts are inside the catch fencing, same as at the sister Speedway Motorsports Inc. track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The debate of whether the fencing at Texas need be changed has been a hot-button topic this off-season.