Hildebrand, Pigot Complete One-Day Verizon IndyCar Series Test in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. (Feb. 14, 2017) - Ed Carpenter Racing teammates J.R. Hildebrand and Spencer Pigot completed a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday to prepare for the launch of the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season next month.
This marked the first full-day Verizon IndyCar Series test of the year at Sonoma Raceway, which will host the 2017 series championship for the third consecutive year at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17.
The test also served as a homecoming for Sausalito native Hildebrand, who got his start at Sonoma Raceway driving karts and formula cars before making the jump to professional racing in 2010. With 46 career IndyCar starts under his belt, Hildebrand returns to full-time competition with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2017.
"It feels great to be here. I grew up racing here, grew up watching races here and went through the whole system; pretty much everything I've ever raced, I've raced here at some point," said Hildebrand, who has a best finish of eighth in four Sonoma Raceway Verizon IndyCar Series starts. "This is our first road course test of the season, so it’s a nice familiar place for us to be doing that, and it’s one of the most difficult tracks on our schedule so it’s a great place for us to be collecting a bit of data."
Hildebrand has served as an integral part of the Ed Carpenter Racing organization over the past three years during the Month of May, and was announced as the team’s full-time driver in November. In early 2016, Stanford University appointed Hildebrand as an adjunct lecturer for the school’s vehicular dynamics program.
“A successful season for us is me picking up my first race win, wherever that ends up being,” said Hildebrand. “That is absolutely a goal of ours to be in the Winner’s Circle. For me there is no doubt that my goal is to come into this season with a number of road and street courses on the schedule and be consistently in contention at those places.”
Pigot returns for his sophomore season with Ed Carpenter Racing after winning the 2015 Indy Light championship. He will pilot the No. 20 entry for all road and street circuits in 2017.
“It’s been a while since we were here and it’s been since September since I drove the car, so I’m excited to be back in an Indy car and so far so good,” said Pigot. “We had a really productive morning, and we’ve been sticking to our test plan, which we spent a lot of time going over before we got here in order to maximize our day.”
The Verizon IndyCar Series kicks off its 17-race 2017 season on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, March. 12. This year’s schedule consists of a total of six events on ovals, six on permanent road courses and five on temporary street circuits.
For tickets to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit SonomaRaceway.com. Great packages are now available, including the popular Total Access pass, which includes a race-day reserved-seat ticket in any section and a Garage/Pit/Pre-race pass for just $99.