IndyCar's annual stop in Sonoma just got more exciting.
Tuesday, raceway and IndyCar officials unveiled a new configuration for the road course, which will host the GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma on Aug. 24-26. The new layout tweaks three turns to increase passing.
More passing makes for a more dynamic race, say drivers, who will get a chance to test at the Sonoma raceway Aug. 17.
"This was something we worked on in the offseason and I think it is really going to make for some exciting racing," said driver Will Power, among those consulted on the changes. "We will know more after the testing, but it looks like we will be able to go into Turns 7 and 11 expecting to be able to make a move."
The Aug. 17 test, which will feature all the IndyCar regulars, will be open free to the public.
Indy legend Mario Andretti was among the experts who developed the new 12-turn, 2.31-mile layout. The upcoming Indy Grand Prix also was lengthened from 75 to 85 laps, making the race about 196 miles.
The changes include extending the entrance into hairpin Turn 11 by 200 feet, widening the passing zone on Turn 9 to 50 feet and converting Turn 7 from a looping right-hander into a tight U-turn. The layout retains the "carousel" on Turns 5 and 6.
Tickets are now on sale for the Indy Grand Prix weekend. For more details, click on http://racesonoma.com/indy or call (800) 870-7223.