Testing Log: Sonoma
Infineon 2007 still stings technical director John Probst. Here’s why: Brian’s No. 83 and AJ’s No. 84 (above) were in the bottom seven and combined for only 20 laps in opening practice. Then the cars were 42nd and 43rd in qualifying and went home two days early.
“We had some struggles,” Probst said. “We weren’t mature enough as a team to overcome some of the problems and adversity that hit us at Sonoma last year. This year, we’re more prepared and more mature as a race team. We’re in pretty good shape to perform well there.”
During a recent string of testing at Virginia International Raceway — a road course with similar characteristics as 1.99-mile, 12-turn Infineon — Red Bull Racing Team and the R&D bunch logged 560 miles. Each driver spent three days at VIR, with Brian totaling 319 miles, AJ 241. The team also spent two days before the season testing at Sebring, where AJ “beat up brakes and gear boxes” for 340 miles on the bumpy central Florida circuit.
And to prepare for the August race at Watkins Glen, the team will spend two days at Road Atlanta in mid-July and another at VIR.
“We have to prioritize things. The majority of our races are intermediate and short track races with a few superspeedway and road course events — six races a year,” Probst noted. “We have to keep that in mind, but we also view that, with AJ in the car, that should be one of our strengths. We want to take every opportunity we can to run well on the road courses.”