Nepveu to Race at the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit
 May 11, 2021| 
  • Team News
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OKA, Québec, Canada – We have almost reached the halfway point of the 2021 season of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship this coming weekend, as Thomas Nepveu continues his apprenticeship with three races on the road course in the infield of the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

This will be Thomas Nepveu's first event on the 2.4-mile track and the rookie driver is working hard to prepare himself for this important weekend with the help of extensive race notes and videos prepared by Cape Motorsports, as well as simulation to fully grasp the track geometry and it's important reference points, such as corner exits before a long straightaway. The team knows the track well and will help the young driver learn and optimize the settings of the #2 Cromwell | Karting Excellence | Home Hardware machine.

Passing is difficult in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, as Thomas Nepveu has found out since the beginning of the season. To alleviate the negative effect that this difficulty causes during a race, drivers must focus on optimizing their qualifying to improve their position on the starting grid, as well as gain as many positions as possible on the start of a race and on restarts after caution periods. Cape Motorsports possesses a wealth of technical information to back up the young Oka driver, given their 10 race wins at this track since the series' first visit here in 2015.

"In addition to studying the race notes and videos provided by my team, I was able to do almost five hours of advanced simulation at Cape Motorsports to identify key areas on the track. The goal is to become as familiar as possible with the combination of slow and fast corners at Indy," said Nepveu in a phone interview.

Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit
Added to the legendary 2.5-mile oval in 2000, the road course has accommodated Formula 1, WeatherTech Sportscar Championship endurance races and MotoGP World Championship races since then. The track configuration features 14 corners, one of which at very high speed, and two long straights over 2.439 miles (3.22 km). This openness enables the USF2000 cars to average 165 km/h (103 mph) for their lap record.

The needs imposed by the mix of slow and fast corners combined with the high-speed straightaway are contradictory: optimal grip through and out of slow and faster corners with the help of high aerodynamic downforce and resulting drag on the one hand, and pure speed on the high-speed sections with little aerodynamic drag (i.e. less downforce and less slipstreaming that would help others to overtake you).
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