Road America needs yellows to vary strategies, says Edwards

Andretti Autosport team manager Rob Edwards has warned that the Kohler Grand Prix's race distance of 50 laps is “almost exactly the wrong number” to allow flat-out racing.

Road America needs yellows to vary strategies, says Edwards
Rob Edwards, Andretti Autosport
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda
Alexander Rossi, Herta - Andretti Autosport Honda
Carlos Munoz, Andretti Autosport Honda

Edwards says that unless there are long yellow-flag periods, all teams and drivers will be trying to save fuel and make a three-stop strategy work around Elkhart Lake's iconic 4.048-mile road course.

He told Motorsport.com: “Given the length of the track, the pit windows are only one or two laps apart. So we’ll all be doing everything we can to make it to each pit window.

“It’s a long pitlane here, particularly with where they’ve imposed the pit speed limit, so you’d be brave to elect to go flat out and make a fourth stop. With a 50-lap race and a 38-second pitlane, you’d have to be more than one second per lap faster to make a four-stop strategy work better than the three-stoppers.”

Asked if the issue was a function of the track’s length, Edwards replied: “Yes, so if you stick to the usual formula, that means you end up with smaller windows. So you need to change the race to 48 laps to give you bigger windows, or longer than 50 to force everyone to make four stops and therefore have huge pitstop windows.”

Munoz’s engine failure was “early”

Edwards went on to explain that the engine failure that occurred in Carlos Munoz’s #26 Andretti Autosport-Honda entry in this morning’s practice session was well before the IndyCar Series’ prescribed minimum limit of 2500 miles.

He said: “That unit would have mileaged out after the test at Iowa next week [Wednesday], and so it had about 500 miles to go.”

“But it was his Indy 500 engine, and it had been pushed pretty hard, particularly at the end of that race there.”

Munoz finished the 500 in second place, with the Colombian flat-out in the final stint trying to catch eventual winner, his teammate Alexander Rossi.

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