2012 IndyCar champ says: “It’s great to have Indy cars racing through one of the oldest cities in America”
The Boston Grand Prix may be facing local opposition but the layout has impressed Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The event, set for Labor Day Weekend next year, has been surrounded by doubt despite its confirmation as part of the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series calendar. But having driven the 11-turn 2.25-mile course, the 2014 Indy 500 winner has declared it “a great one.”
Speaking to The Boston Globe, Hunter-Reay said: ““Some street circuits are maybe not right downtown, but this one felt like it was really through the heart of it all.
“Second to that, the layout, the actual circuit shape and how long the straights are. Sometimes with a street circuit, you’re forced into doing a shorter track. But this one seems like it’s the proper length. You can tell the time and effort went into picking the right route, and it seems like a great one.”
The course was designed by Tony Cotman, whose NZR Consulting Group is renowned for its street and road course designs, track construction and management of the track’s infrastructure. Cotman’s highlights have included Baltimore, Sao Paulo, Edmonton and downtown Las Vegas.
“One of the things you look for from a driver’s perspective is passing zones, and that’s what this track has. Long straights that come up to really tight hard-braking corners.”
Another aspect of the track that intrigues the 2012 IndyCar champion is the rise from Massport Haul Road to Fargo Street, under the overpass. Elevation change is something that Cotman has long believed is essential to good track design.
“It’s going to be pretty hairy there in an IndyCar,” said Hunter-Reay. “The cars are definitely going to get light, and you may even see tires get off the ground. Very exciting…And the sound of the cars going underground is going to be amazing for the fans to experience.”
He added: “I think [this track] can have a future as a fixture on the IndyCar schedule, like Long Beach. I think it’s going to be great for the city, it’s going to be great for IndyCar.”