By: Ashley McCubbin
With the NTT IndyCar Series not on-track until Barber Motorsports Park next month, plenty competitors can be found on the grid for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship events.
Despite the number of drivers crossing over, Alexander Rossi says there are not a lot of similarities between the cars.
“They’re both pretty high powered, high downforce cars, but they are quite unique characteristics to them for sure,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “I think the reason you see so many IndyCar guys is for the long events, there’s not necessarily enough sportscar drivers around, so they’re looking for road course guys that have experience in those high downforce, high powered cars. If there weren’t a lot, I don’t think you’d see a lot of IndyCar guys just because there are enough sportscar pros to do the three to five hour races and such.
“Nonetheless, it’s a great opportunity for us and my relationship with HPD and Acura has opened the door to allow me to do this, and it’s been a pleasure to be a part of this Acura program the past couple of years, and looking forward to hopefully contributing to their sportscar success.”
Rossi took full advantage of being with Wayne Taylor Racing for the 24 Hours of Daytona, scoring the victory alongside his teammates. He will hope to carry the momentum into the 12 Hours of Sebring following a fourth and eighth the past two years with Team Penske at the facility. WTR, meanwhile, knows something about success there with a runner-up in the 2020 Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring with Ranger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe at the helm.
Once the weekend is complete, Rossi’s focus will shift to the IndyCar Series in knowing the opening event at Barber Motorsports Park is just around the corner next month. While scoring five podiums last year, he would wound up placing ninth in the standings, his worst placement over the past four seasons.
“I’m excited,” he commented. “It was a difficult year last year for a lot of reasons, but I think the off-season has been quite strong for the team. I think we have three or four tests left, so quite a few days left before Barber to get everything squared away. The whole Andretti Autosport organization is looking better than it ever has going into a season and we’re cautiously optimistic about what that means. Barber can’t get here soon enough and hopefully it’s a good start to the season for us.”