Talking after topping the 45-minute Friday practice on the California circuit, which returns to the calendar this yr after a deliberate double-header race in 2020 was cancelled on account of then pandemic, title challenger Newgarden mentioned it had been tough to get an understanding of the tyre efficiency given the restricted operating on the high-degradation circuit.
“It is a 45-minute session, which is already condensed,” defined the Staff Penske driver, who sits 34 factors behind chief Alex Palou within the championship.
“Should you’re solely going to run one set of tyres, which we did, you get actually one run to get a learn.
“Even the second run, as a result of the tire drop-off is sort of excessive, it will possibly muddy any learn you are making an attempt to carry out.
“It is simply extremely obscure what the automotive’s doing or if you wish to enhance it, what occurred run to run. Then the mud will get kicked up on the monitor loads when you will have 27 automobiles.
“We did not have it a lot on the take a look at as a result of there weren’t many automobiles regularly going off. You had plenty of automobiles right here [today] that had been simply continually kicking up dust onto kerbing. It makes it tough to learn the automotive right here and perceive the place issues are at.
“However I believe that is a part of the problem at these kind of tracks, you need to be actually good at doing it. Everytime you get a extremely good run, you need to assess the automotive with that.
Josef Newgarden, Staff Penske Chevrolet
Picture by: Joe Skibinski
“To me it is like Sonoma. Sonoma was only a nightmare to determine what was higher or worse with any change.
“Should you’re making an attempt to work on the racecar, work on tyre degradation, it’s totally obscure and assess what makes the automotive higher or worse in these circumstances. I believe it is the identical factor right here.
“Hopefully displaying up with a automotive that is inherently higher than the folks round you – your philosophy, the best way that you simply run the dampers, the best way you arrange the mechanical steadiness – you hope that feeds into higher tyre life.
“Attempting to enhance it on a weekend like that is fairly tough, I’d say.”
Johnson assured of reaching limits with Laguna familiarity
In the meantime, NASCAR legend Jimmie Johnson says that returning to a monitor the place he has twice examined this weekend ought to give him the possibility to push to his limits.
The Chip Ganassi Racing driver completed simply 1.5s behind Newgarden as he continues his transition to open-wheel racing.
It follows spectacular performances at each the Indianapolis Highway Course and Portland, the place he had additionally beforehand examined.
“It’s nice to be again right here as a result of I believe we’ve seen an enormous enchancment on tracks I’ve been to earlier than,” the seven-time NASCAR Cup champion instructed Autosport.
“I actually hope to construct on that. I’m excited to problem myself in areas I do know I used to be gradual in [during testing].
Jimmie Johnson, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Picture by: James J Black
“I’ve been in a circle, actually: as I enhance someplace, I must catch up some place else. A few of the large beneficial properties I’ve had have been medium to high-speed turns, understanding what the automotive can do nearer to the sting.
“I’m now at a degree the place my preliminary brake hit is in the proper spot, however managing the brakes is one thing I must get slightly higher with.
“It’s coming alongside, I’m right down to the little tenths that add up. That is the toughest part.”
Johnson mentioned his ambitions have been raised following current races, and ending on the lead lap is now not the goal.
“I really feel like I’ve crossed that hurdle and now it’s making an attempt to qualify within the teenagers and race within the teenagers,” he mentioned.
“At Portland, with how brief the lap is, I believed I used to be going to be actually uncovered and go down a lap, and I didn’t. So beginning within the teenagers and ending within the teenagers must be the following step.”