Northern California motor racing fans are set to experience a once ever treat to be a part of the championship year ending race at Sonoma Raceway. For the first time in the Verizon IndyCar Series history, the championship will be decided on a road course and it is the first time Sonoma Raceway will serve as the finale of a major motor-sports series season. All of this happens over the last weekend of August 28 – 30, 2015.
Target Chip Ganassi’s, Scott Dixon posted his second Sonoma Raceway victory at last year’s race, becoming just the second Verizon IndyCar Series driver to earn multiple wins on the 12-turn road course. Team Penske’s Will Power has earned a reputation for dominance on the 12-turn road course with three Sonoma victories (2010, ’11 and ’13) and four pole positions. The ever personable and fan favorite Helio Castroneves is in the running for the Championship and could prove to be a spoiler for the leaders.
“Sonoma will be an outstanding place to end the Verizon IndyCar Series season,” said Power, the 2014 Verizon IndyCar Series Champion. “It’s an awesome venue with fans who really love our sport. Sonoma Raceway is one of my absolute favorite tracks and I’m really excited for the season to end there. I think it will be a good change of pace from the previous years.”
As the series unfolds toward its last two races, just 55 points separate the top five drivers in the race for the Championship. This small range between first and the following four competitors will, it seems, remain as the teams head for the west coast and the finale at Sonoma Raceway.
As a precursor to the August 30th race some of the teams will head to Sonoma to test not only their race cars and the setups for the demanding 12-turn road course but also each driver’s ability to handle the rigors of Sonoma Raceway. On Thursday August 13, 2015 race fans are invited out to get a taste of the action during this test session. While the test session may not offer head to head racing, it allows fans to get up close to some of their favorite drivers.
Testing will span from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is open free to fans who purchase a ticket to the upcoming GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma that day, or have already purchased tickets. Fans will be given a free tour of the pits offering an up-close look at the racecars and drivers. The Raceway Café will also be open for lunch. And as an added bonus, a press conference will be held during the lunch break and fans are invited to attend, pending available space.
This year Sonoma Raceway has partnered with Key Holidays to offer a relaxing ride on board the first-ever Raceway Fun Train to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. Departing from Sacramento with stops in Davis and Suisun City, The 400-seat train arrives just steps from the raceway’s main entrance. The train, which utilizes SMART-owned track, traverses some of Northern California’s most spectacular scenery.
“I can’t think of a better way to start and finish a day at the raceway than a train ride through the beautiful Carneros countryside,” said Steve Page, Sonoma Raceway president and general manager. “Our NASCAR fans tell us the train has dramatically improved their race-day experience, and we are delighted to offer this option to our INDYCAR fans.”
The Raceway Fun Train offers a unique alternative to highway traffic and parking hassles on race-day, and will feature café cars with on-board food and beverage service. The GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma Raceway Fun Train package is another transportation choice for race day. The $149 package ($89 for children 12 and under) includes round-trip travel from Sacramento, Davis or Suisun, a reserved-seat in the main grandstand, VIP main-gate entry, garage/pit/pre-race pass and a commemorative lanyard.
For more information on the Raceway Fun Train or to purchase your ticket package today, call 800-870-RACE FREE (7223) or visit www.racesonoma.com/indycar. Operation and schedule subject to change by railroads and track or weather conditions.
For tickets to the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, call 800-870-RACE FREE (7223) or visit racesonoma.com/indycar. Tickets can also be purchased on-site at the test session. Great packages are available, including the popular Total Access pass, which gets you a race-day reserved-seat ticket in any section and a Garage/Pit/Pre-race pass for just $99.