IndyCar Season Wrapped Up In Sonoma

2016 IndyCar Sonoma

The 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series came to a close at Sonoma at the weekend and signalled the end of a challenging but ultimately rewarding rookie season for Max Chilton who was wearing a stunning timepiece inspired helmet in tribute to Armin Strom who have made 8 limited edition Max Chilton watches.

The young Brit started the weekend in P21 before making some big gains in Practice 2 to jump up to 10th quickest, ahead of teammates Tony Kanaan and Scott Dixon. 

Speaking after practice, Chilton commented: “I think we made some really big gains today on track. This morning in first practice we were around second to last, and then in the final session we were in the top 10 which was a big jump forward. There were a few red flags and I realize a few people didn’t get their times in, but I think everyone is struggling for grip out there whether it’s the temperatures or something else. Everyone seems to have a loose car and we’ll work on that tonight before qualifying tomorrow.”

During qualifying all the drivers were struggling for grip, making it a real challenge to put down a competitive time, Max got a lap on the board to start from P18 in the race. 

“It’s a very challenging circuit and it’s such a great part of the world to come here and race in. I gave it 100% and all I had out there. I really wanted to qualify well here and finish the season on a high note. We had a great qualifying effort last race making the Fast 6 and I wanted to do that again here. This track is similar to The Glen but a bit smaller. We have our work cut out for us tomorrow but it’s a tough and physical race and we’ll be up for the challenge tomorrow.”

The race was equally challenging, Max experienced overboost problems on the start and lost track position. A lengthy pit stop was required to remedy the issue but despite the challenges Max came home in P16. Talking after the race, Chilton said:

“It was a really up and down race for the Gallagher team today. It started with an overboost problem which left us a sitting duck out there unfortunately. I was trying to hang on and then we pitted to fix the problem and tried to get back in the fight. Then for a stint and a half we were doing the same pace as the leader and was actually catching him so I thought we were in good shape. I thought the last stint was going to be great for us with all the overtakes we had left but the last set of tires didn’t feel right for some reason on the car. We were still quick compared to the others and just did our best at the end.”

A big congratulations to Team Penske and Series Champion Simon Pagenaud.

Thoughts now turn to 2017 and discussions are underway…..more to come!