Autosport (UK)

INDY 500 WINNER NEWGARDEN ADDS STAR APPEAL

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Indycar ace Josef Newgarden made his Daytona 24 Hours debut in the LMP2 class last year, a few months before his greatest victory to date in the Indianapol­is 500 for Team Penske. The 33-year-old from Nashville’s enthusiasm was lit by his maiden prototype experience, and he later accepted the offer to join Penske’s Porsche IMSA GTP line-up in the seasonclos­ing Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta as an ‘endurance extra’. “That was tough,” he admits. “It’s a phenomenal track, one of my new favourites in North America, I loved how old-school it is. It’s very punishing, there’s no rest, you can’t take it easy. It was intense, the traffic was non-stop because of the size of the track and the field size.”

After his in-at-the-deep-end experience, Newgarden has had far more seat time available as he joins Dane Cameron, Felipe

Nasr and Matt Campbell in the

#7 963 this week at Daytona.

Speaking to Autosport during testing, he adds: “It’s been a good learning experience, to get the cadence and the processes down before we come back for the real thing. For me, stepping into the programme to do my part, do a great job to help them, I’m really encouraged. Winning Daytona would be a big deal for everybody, winning any of the endurance events – including Sebring or Petit. I’m excited and honoured to be a part of it.” Newgarden also points out that Daytona’s 3.56-mile road course poses a totally different challenge to the majestic swoops of Road Atlanta. “It’s a fun track, but it’s not super-complex when you look at the layout,” he points out. “There’s a lot of straightaw­ay but it’s really thrilling because it’s super-high speed in a lot of respects. The infield is slow, but the Bus Stop stands out as one of those make-or-break corners, the way you deal with traffic exiting that in the race will be so important.

“It’s a fun change-up for me because it’s different to wherever we go in Indycar. The challenge of being successful over 24 hours is something I’m not used to, so I’d love to succeed at that.”

“IT’S FUN BECAUSE IT’S DIFFERENT TO WHEREVER WE GO IN INDYCAR”

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 ?? ?? It’s just 12 months since Newgarden’s prototype debut
It’s just 12 months since Newgarden’s prototype debut

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