Representatives from Infineon Raceway have also confirmed that this month’s IndyCar Grand Prix of Sonoma will be run on a revised circuit, which has been developed to combat the Californian’s track’s dreadful reputation for processional races.
Their announcement comes just a day after Baltimore circuit officials confirmed their own changes to the street circuit’s track layout ahead of its own IndyCar Grand Prix next month.
The changes to the undulating circuit’s layout come in the wake of consultation with representatives of the Penske team – including drivers Will Power and Ryan Briscoe, along with team president Tim Cindric – former IndyCar champion Mario Andretti and IndyCar Series officials.
“Combining these new corners and braking zones with IndyCar’s new competitive engine environment should open things up considerably and we’re very anxious to see the results play out at the race in a few weeks,” Sonoma’s circuit president and general manager Steve Page said.
The new layout sees a tightening of Turn 7 to make it a hairpin to improve its prospects as a genuine overtaking zone, while Turn 9 has been widened.
The other change is a repositioning of Turn 11 – effectively lengthening the complex by 200 feet (61 metres) – to create a bigger run into the corner and hopefully lead to more overtaking chances.
The changes have increased the circuit’s length to 2.31 miles, reducing the total number of racing laps from 85 to 75.
The circuit will host its IndyCar Series race on the August 26 weekend before hosting a round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship in late September – it’s not yet known what circuit configuration will be used for the latter.