Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Nascar: Erik Jones tests NASCAR’s Next-Gen car at Homestead-Miami Speedway – Motorsport Week

Nascar: Erik Jones tests NASCAR’s Next-Gen car at Homestead-Miami Speedway – Motorsport Week
19 Jan

The Next Gen race car, expected to make its debut in NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2021, underwent its third test at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Wednesday. It was the first test for the car at a mile-and-a-half race track, following tests at Richmond Raceway in October and Phoenix Raceway in December.

“I’ve never been a part of developing something new in any series,” Jones said, according to a tweet from Joe Gibbs Racing [@JoeGibbsRacing]. “So to be the first guy in it on a mile-and-a-half has been cool. It’s been a learning experience for everybody, but it’s been fun. I think we’ve come a long way in a short time here.”

The next test is scheduled for March 2 and 3 at Auto Club Speedway, soon after the race weekend at the track. So far, each manufacturer has participated in a test. Chevrolet driver Austin Dillon drove the car at Richmond and Ford driver Joey Logano at Phoenix. Jones is a Toyota driver. In all three tests, so far, the car has carried a non-manufacturer-specific body.

“Obviously, it’s a lot different than what we’ve raced in the past, and a different way of getting to where you need to be,” Jones said. “I was a bit unsure of how it was going to drive and how it was going to react.”

Differences between the Next Gen car and the car the series is using now include a vertical sequential shifter.

“The shifting has been fun; it’s been different,” Jones said. “I’ve never done anything other than normal H-pattern shifting in my career. You can bang right through the gears.”

The Next Gen car remains under development, and according to NASCAR Senior Vice President of Racing Innovation, a phase three prototype is already in production. When it is rolled out, the version of the car already being tested probably will serve as a second car in tests.

“We still look forward to taking this to superspeedways and road courses; we have a lot to learn there as well,” Probst said, as quoted in an NBC Sports article. “We’ll go back and iterate on what we have now, but we feel like we’re in a good spot. We’re going to keep developing and working on what we’ve got, and we think we’re going to end up with a really good product.”



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