The 17th and final race in the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series won’t determine the champion, as Alex Palou sewed up the driver’s title last week in Portland when he won his fifth race of the year. Scott Dixon, Palou’s teammate with Chip Ganassi Racing Honda, clinched second place in that race as well. However, Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin, and Pato O’Ward could all take third place, and several elite drivers are still looking for their first win of the season, so you can still expect plenty of intensity. WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, will host the race, set to start at 2:30 pm Eastern time on Sunday, September 10. Let’s check out the IndyCar betting insights about the Grand Prix of Monterey.
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WeatherTech Raceway has the same 11-turn layout as in years past, but resurfacing means that the tire data that teams have gathered over the last four years is largely useless. Thursday, the course held a five-hour test that all 27 of the drivers should learn from. Of course, teams arrive with three sets of tires, and they can carry one to Sunday, so testing will be limited to the other two sets with perhaps one qualifying run on the set that will also be used to race.
The resurfacing was designed to make the course smoother, but that may not allow cars to run lower (and benefit aerodynamically as a result). Turns 6 and 10 offer some fast corners that cause significant compression and influence the ride height. The surface will provide more grip than the course has offered in past races, which leads to higher speed – and greater compression. The darker color of the track means that it will heat up at a faster rate – and offer less grip as the temperature rises. Understanding how the tires for this week’s race interact with the track as the grip loosens will also provide important data.
The old surface at WeatherTech Raceway was popular among the top drivers because it beat up tires and gave an advantage to those who could drive fast while minimizing wear on the tires. If the grip level on the new surface is the same across the whole track, drivers might attempt to try multiple lines to catch up with an opponent. Turn 2 is a wide hairpin that could offer chances to do this, as could the entry and exit from Turn 5. Braking zones may shrink because of the longitudinal grip on new tires, which could make things challenging.
Calculating fuel consumption is also an important part of the testing. If drivers can go a few seconds faster per lap, how would that affect fuel consumption. If drivers bring more momentum into the turns, they might not have to accelerate as much coming out, which means they could save fuel there. Some drivers may risk getting less fuel at the pit so that their car will be lighter on the climb from Turn 5 to the Corkscrew.
Positioning in the pit boxes is also a little different at WeatherTech Raceway. Getting a pit box near the exit is usually good news, but here it means that you’re on (or near) a steep uphill part of the pit road, which can make it tough to start smoothly after coming to a stop.
at least wants to finish as the top driver with Penske this year, but he still trails Josef Newgarden by 22 points. A win provides 50 points, so McLaughlin could catch him. However, it’s more likely that he can move into fourth place as he is just 13 points back of Pato O’Ward.
has seven podium results in 2023, but he still hasn’t won a single race – and he hasn’t snagged a pole. He’s usually running right there at the end in his No 5 Chevrolet, though, and when you’re close to the leaders, eventually things go your way and you win.
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