Archives for Sonoma Raceway PR

Twelve IndyCar Drivers Set to Test at Sonoma Raceway, Feb. 5

                SONOMA, Calif. (Jan. 30, 2018) – At least twelve drivers from seven Verizon IndyCar® Series teams will take part in a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Monday, Feb. 5.

This serves as the first INDYCAR test of the year at Sonoma Raceway in preparation for the 2018 series season finale at the Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 14-16. It will also mark a triumphant return to the road course for Team Penske, which claimed its second consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series championship in Sonoma last year with Josef Newgarden.

This will be the first-ever Sonoma Raceway test for a number of teams and drivers, including first-year IndyCar teams Harding Racing and Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, as well as rookie drivers Jordan King, Robert Wickens and Matheus Leist.

The teams/drivers scheduled to participate in the test on the 12-turn, 2.38-mile road course include:

  • AJ Foyt Racing: Tony Kanaan, Matheus “Matt” Leist
  • Dale Coyne Racing: Sebastien Bourdais, TBA
  • Ed Carpenter Racing: Spencer Pigot, Jordan King
  • Harding Racing: Gabby Chaves
  • Michael Shank Racing with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: Jack Harvey
  • Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: James Hinchcliffe, Robert Wickens
  • Team Penske: Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power

Race fans are invited to enjoy the test session for free, with testing slated to run from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. with a break from noon-1 p.m. The Raceway Café will be open for lunch.

For tickets to the Grand Prix of Sonoma, call 800-870-RACE (7223) or visit Tickets can also be purchased on-site at the test session.

John’s March at Sonoma Raceway Raises More than $20,000

Seven-Year Total Surpasses $110,000 for Gastric Cancer SONOMA, Calif. (Jan. 24, 2018) – More than 400 John’s March Against Stomach Cancer participants walked and ran the Sonoma Raceway road course on Saturday at the West Coast’s largest fundraising walk for No Stomach for Cancer, bringing the event’s seven-year total to more than $110,000 raised for gastric cancer research…

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Join the 7th Annual John’s March Against Stomach Cancer at Sonoma Raceway, Jan. 20

SONOMA, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2017) – Sonoma Raceway will open its 12-turn road course to walkers and runners alike as it hosts the West Coast’s only major fundraising walk for No Stomach for Cancer on Saturday, Jan. 20. The 7th annual John’s March Against Stomach Cancer will support the fight against the third leading cause of cancer deaths…

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Sonoma Raceway Opens 50 Acres Campground to Evacuees

SONOMA, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2017) – Sonoma Raceway will open its 50 Acres campground to evacuees seeking temporary refuge from the Northern California fires. The raceway, which is equipped to handle up to 2,000 campers during its major event weekends, will open its largest campground to evacuees in RVs beginning this afternoon. The 50 Acres…

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Klay Thompson Named Grand Marshal of GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2017) – Golden State Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson has been named Grand Marshal of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Verizon IndyCar Series season finale at Sonoma Raceway, Sept. 15-17. Thompson, a shooting guard for the reigning NBA Champions, was selected in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft by Golden State with the…

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GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Pit Notes

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2017)  — The Verizon IndyCar® Series returns to Sonoma Raceway this weekend for its season finale at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17. Below are some points of interest regarding previous INDYCAR events in Sonoma:

  • The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma has featured eight different winners since the series’ first visit to Sonoma in 2005: Tony Kanaan, 2005; Marco Andretti, 2006; Helio Castroneves, 2008; Dario Franchitti, 2009; Ryan Briscoe, 2012; Will Power, 2010, 2011, 2013; Scott Dixon, 2007, 2014 and 2015 and Simon Pagenaud, 2016.
  • This is the third consecutive year Sonoma Raceway has hosted the Verizon IndyCar Series championship race.
  • The championship title has been decided in the season-finale for 12 consecutive years.
  • Simon Pagenaud set the track qualifying record in 2016 with a fast lap of 1 minute, 16.2530 seconds at 112.599 mph.
  • Pagenaud set the track record for most laps led by a race winner in 2016 with 76 (of 85) and record for fastest race winner (101.181 mph).
  • The 2015 and 2014 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma events both featured 10 lead changes and 20 drivers finished on the lead lap.
  • Scott Dixon set the track record for worst starting position of a winner in 2015 (9th). He also set the track record for the largest margin of victory in an IndyCar Series event at 6.1115 seconds over Ryan Hunter-Reay also in 2015.
  • The raceway unveiled a modified track layout in 2012, with changes to Turns 7, 9 and 11 designed to enhance passing. With the modifications, the track length is 12 turns, 2.385 miles and race distance was increased from 75 to 85 laps.
  • Will Power became the first repeat INDYCAR winner in Sonoma after claiming back-to-back wins in 2010 and 2011.  Dixon is the only other repeat Sonoma winner (2014, 2015).
  • Marco Andretti won his first-ever INDYCAR race at Sonoma Raceway in 2006.  At 19-years, 167 days, Andretti became the then-youngest driver in history to win a major open-wheel event.  Andretti also claimed victory in Sonoma in the 2005 Firestone Indy Lights event.
  • 2008 marked the first year that the unified INDYCAR and Champ Car World Series competed in the Sonoma Valley.
  • Will Power has led the most laps in IndyCar competition at Sonoma Raceway with 276.
  • The 2005 INDYCAR event in Sonoma marked the first major open-wheel event at the Sonoma facility in 35 years and the first permanent road-course event in the 11-year history of INDYCAR.
  • Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan are the only drivers who have competed in all 12 INDYCAR events in Sonoma.
  • Five of the 12 GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma winners have started from the pole (Castroneves, Franchitti, Pagenaud, Power – twice).

Track Facts

  • The raceway has installed nearly 200 feet of Humboldt Redwood stand-up bars under the main grandstand and at the raceway’s newest fan entertainment area, The RevZone at Turn 7. These stand-up bars offer a shaded location under the grandstand or a picturesque view above Turn 7 to enjoy the variety of food options and beverages at the raceway. Fans will also be able to sit at one of 14 new redwood picnic tables under the main grandstand.
  • In 2016, Sonoma Raceway installed more than 5,000 square feet of high-resolution, full LED Panasonic screens. An 85-foot tall, four-sided LED scoring tower has replaced the outdated lap/leader board above Turn 1 of the road course, and an 84- x 12-foot Panasonic LED screen has been added to the front of the three-story Drag Tower building.
  • The Sonoma Raceway road course features more than 160 feet of elevation change from its highest point (Turn 3a, 174 feet) to its lowest point (Turn 10, 14 feet).
  • The berms on the turns of the road course are painted blue and gold at the suggestion of raceway President and General Manager Steve Page, who attended UC Berkeley.
  • The property on which the raceway was built was a working farm called Sears Point Farm in the early 1900s.
  • In 2011, in a partnership with Panasonic Corporation of North America, the raceway completed a solar installation of nearly 1,700 solar panels, which offsets approximately 41% of the raceway’s energy usage.
  • Nearly 3,000 sheep, housed at the raceway and provided by Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders, provide natural land care, helping to maintain the facility’s grasses and fire lanes.
  • Winners in Sonoma celebrate with a sip from the Champion’s Goblet in Sunoco Victory Lane.  The goblet, which is handcrafted by a local glass blower from Oakland, was introduced in 2006 and incorporates the raceway’s rich wine country heritage.

Full-field INDYCAR Test Kicks-Off  GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma

  Sept. 14 Event Open to Ticket Holders & Buyers SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2017) – The full field of Verizon IndyCar® Series drivers, including the drivers in contention for the series championship, are scheduled to participate in a series-sanctioned open test at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 14, the day before the GoPro Grand…

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Team Penske Prepares for Verizon IndyCar Series Championship with Test at Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (Sept. 7, 2017) – Team Penske teammates Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power completed a one-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Thursday to prepare for the Verizon IndyCar Series championship race weekend at the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Sept. 15-17. This marks a particularly important test session for…

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Tito’s Handmade Vodka Named an Official Sponsor of Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (June 14, 2017) – Race fans can enjoy more than your typical trackside beverage during the upcoming race season in Sonoma, as Tito’s Handmade Vodka has extended its official sponsorship of Sonoma Raceway. Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is produced in Austin at Texas’ first and oldest legal distillery, will host a full-service bar at…

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Thirteen IndyCar Drivers Complete One-Day Honda Test at Sonoma Raceway

SONOMA, Calif. (April 4, 2017) – Thirteen drivers from five Verizon IndyCar® Series teams completed a one-day Honda test session at Sonoma Raceway on Tuesday. This marked the largest IndyCar test of the year so far at Sonoma Raceway, which will host the 2017 series season finale for the third consecutive year at the GoPro…

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