JR Hildebrand is looking ahead to the IndyCar Phoenix GP, and he’s seeing a lot of unknowns – what happens is anyone’s guess.
Typically, when approaching an IndyCar GP, there’s some semblance of understanding occurring to the forthcoming race. Well, that’s usually the case. This time around, everything seems different – or so claims JR Hildebrand of Ed Carpenter Racing.
Hildebrand was the pacesetter during the two-day test that took place at Phoenix International Raceway in the early days of the month, but his exceptional speed doesn’t appear to be enough for him to take solace in.
“I think the test saw people try a lot of different setups and with such a restricted amount of tires [only six sets over a 12 hour period]. I’m pretty sure people didn’t get through everything they wanted to do.
So when we come back in April for practice, there’s still going to be a lot of experimenting, I think. Two months on, the track’s going to feel different – different weather, USAC cars running there that weekend. When you get a bunch of unknowns, things start to happen. I mean, there were accidents even in the test as people tried different stuff.
So I think the racing is going to be difficult but good. It’s not a place where you’re going to get a lot of totally legit, full-on passing, but you’ll see a lot of guys getting jammed up, and if you’re a guy who’s able to look ahead, keep up the momentum and work through a pack of cars getting jammed, that’s going to go a long way.” – JR Hildebrand
Unknowns always make for more fun, and sustained predictability in any sort of sport is a guaranteed death knell. Here’s to hoping that things don’t go tits-up for JR and his team and dip too far into the unknown before the big race.