Carlin continues 2018 IndyCar planning
Monday, 02 October 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Image by Jakob Ebrey/LAT
Carlin Racing continues to take major steps toward entering the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018.
Although the junior open-wheel powerhouse entrant has yet to formally announce its plans, RACER has learned the British team owned by Trevor Carlin and backed by Grahame Chilton has purchased at least one brand-new Dallara DW12 chassis from the Italian constructor.
Numerous job offers to staff an IndyCar effort have also been made to members of the paddock, including those who lost their jobs after the Sonoma season finale on Sept. 17.
After establishing a new Indy Lights team in 2015 that was run from a shop in upstate New York, Carlin Racing moved into a facility of its own in Delray Beach, Florida, in 2016. Following its championship-winning effort for Ed Jones, Carlin took a serious look at purchasing the IndyCar assets of KV Racing to make the leap in 2017, but those discussions fell through and the cars and equipment were eventually purchased by Juncos Racing.
With Chilton's son Max having left Chip Ganassi Racing, it's believed the new DW12 purchase and staffing outreach are part of an initiative to surround the Briton with his own team to continue his budding IndyCar career.
The 26-year-old made a noteworthy progression with CGR in his second season with the team. A pair of top 10s were countered by a string of forgettable outings as a rookie in 2016 where Chilton placed 19th in the standings, but on his return in 2017, he and engineer Brandon Fry secured six top 10s and 11th in the championship, directly behind teammate and series veteran Tony Kanaan.
Former CGR driver Charlie Kimball has also been linked to a drive at Carlin.
IndyCar sezona 2018
Posted 03 October 2017 - 15:19
Posted 04 October 2017 - 15:50
IndyCar 2018 bodywork delivery schedule set
Tuesday, 03 October 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Image by IMS Photo
Verizon IndyCar teams should be able to enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas without completing a mad scramble to outfit their Dallara DW12s with UAK18 body kits.
Set for initial distribution by Dallara on November 27, IndyCar competition president Jay Frye says the delivery schedule, along with the 2018 universal aero kit testing blackout that extends through January 7, was done to ensure the changeovers didn't encroach on the holidays.
"Dallara has been spot-on with this whole process," Frye told RACER. "They've been phenomenal to work with, they've delivered everything on time, and actually early most of the time. And that's part of the plan. The teams will get them November 27th, so they'll have almost a month to get the cars ready, take the Christmas break, then come back where they've few more days if they've got some loose ends to button up before they can go starting testing on the 8th."
Teams will need to send their tubs out for side-impact structural changes, along with other modifications to the DW12 safety cell before fitment of the new bodywork can be carried out. Teams will also need to install new engine electronics and data system componentry to complete the full transformation with each chassis.
"It will be challenging, but it will be the same for everyone," said Andretti Autosport COO Rob Edwards.
Frye is confident the mass delivery of 2018 body kits – two free per entry – by the end of November will give IndyCar teams ample time to be ready for testing in early January, and with more time to convert backup cars and Indy-only DW12s in the weeks and months that follow, the goal is to avoid the last-minute time crunch that plagued the last aero changeover in 2015.
"We try to do everything and anything from the team's perspective," he said. "Again, the human capital part of this sport is very difficult. It's very hard. It's very demanding. And when we can do things like the universal aero kit release between the holidays, we're trying to help make things easier for IndyCar's crew members."
Posted 04 October 2017 - 15:52
Castroneves moves to Penske's IMSA program; will race Indy 500
Wednesday, 04 October 2017
By Marshall Pruett / Image by Michael Levitt/LAT
Helio Castroneves' tenure as a full-time IndyCar driver with Team Penske has come to an end.
First mentioned by RACER in August of 2016, the three-time Indy 500 winner will move across to Penske's new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program where he'll join Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron starting in 2018.
The 42-year-old Brazilian isn't completely done with open-wheel racing, however. He'll have another chance to join the exclusive four-time winner's club in May as part of a one-off Indy 500 entry for the defending series championship.
"Helio has been a valuable member of Team Penske for almost 20 years and we are looking forward to sharing more success together," said Roger Penske. "Competitors like Helio, Rick Mears and Mark Donohue are what have made Team Penske what it is today. This represents a new challenge for him and I know he is excited about the opportunity. Having established winning drivers like Helio and Juan, teaming up with young and talented racers that know the series like Dane Cameron, will help give our new sports car program a solid foundation as we head into the 2018 season."
Castroneves is expected to partner with young American sports car star Ricky Taylor in the second Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international.
"I've been fortunate to achieve a lot of my personal goals with Team Penske over the years," Castroneves said. "Helping Roger, the team and everyone with Acura start this program and build it from the ground up will be another big challenge and a great opportunity in my career. I am proud of everything we have accomplished together in IndyCar and now I am focused on helping to develop the ARX-05 to try and win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the IMSA championship in 2018 with Acura.
"I'm also excited to get a chance to race again for Team Penske at the Indianapolis 500. That race is near and dear to my heart and trying to become the fourth four-time winner is something I really want to accomplish in my career. We've come so close the last few years and with this team, I know we will have a great opportunity to try and make some history."
Posted 04 October 2017 - 18:02
Newgarden, Power call for IndyCar to improve oval qualifying system
By: David Malsher, US Editor
Yesterday at 9:22pm
Team Penske-Chevrolet’s 2017 and 2014 IndyCar champions Josef Newgarden and Will Power want the series to come up with a new system for deciding running order in qualifying on ovals.
Presently at all ovals aside from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the running order in one-by-one qualifying is decided by names picked out of a hat.
With the early runners encountering the least favorable track conditions, this can mean championship contenders randomly ending up at different ends of the grid with very little control over their own destiny.
Reigning champion Newgarden told Motorsport.com that is far too random, and an unlucky pick could even swing the title battle.
“We often run with the [Cooper Tires-equipped] Mazda Road To Indy guys, or the [Goodyear-equipped] NASCAR Truck guys, and their tires don’t necessarily work well with our Firestones. So that means the first 10 IndyCar guys out there in qualifying are just cleaning the track for the next 10 or 12, and the track just gets better and better.
“I mean, you see that even in road and street course qualifying, right? We all sit there and let others clear the track surface and the fast times come at the end of the session, almost always. Well in oval qualifying, you don’t have that luxury – your running order is decided already, and if you’re one of the first guys and your main rivals are some of the last guys, you’re at a major disadvantage.
“So I’ve talked with Jay [Frye, president of competition and operations] about it, because they’ve got to do something next year to make it more fair. They need to reward performance by going later; we can’t be having the order decided by drawing names out of a hat!
“I think you should reward practice results. There’s a lot that goes with that. They’re going to have to figure out how to run the cars through tech another time to make sure people aren’t cheating in practice to get a favorable slot in the running order. But I’m sure they can figure out some way – practice speeds or maybe points standings – to do it a better way that’s not totally random.
Teammate Power said: “I think maybe you could do it based on oval championship points, and the reason I say that instead of overall points is that it wouldn’t be fair on Ed Carpenter [who only races on ovals] having to go first every time!
“But, I don’t think you should include the double points from Indy because that can spread the points so far apart that you’d end up with the running order at the next few ovals.”
Power agreed with Newgarden that setting the running order by flipping the practice speeds on their head – slowest first, fastest last – would work too, and said he doesn’t believe teams would cheat in order to get a better running slot.
“Nah, I don’t see that happening because I can’t think of any drivers or race engineers who’d want to,” he said. “We get so little practice on ovals that you’ve gotta be mad to start wasting time running an illegal car just for a better grid position. You want all your track time to be about getting a good setup – a legal one! – sorted for the race, and then a bit for qualifying too.”
Asked if he thought IndyCar or its fans prefer the idea of a mixed up running order, Power said: “Well… maybe. I suppose there’s a compromise where, if you base it on oval points, the bottom 10 pick their running order and they go out first, but they can’t be higher than 11th, and then the top 10 pick their running order and they can’t be lower than 10th. So you’ve still got that random element but the main contenders aren’t at different ends of the grid.
“I don’t know. But yeah, it needs to be done better than how it is now. The sport’s too competitive to be playing games where one championship contender goes first and gets screwed, and his rivals go last and end up at the front.”
Asked if heat races, as IndyCar experimented with at Iowa in 2013, were the answer, Power said: "No. They were terrible. We all just cruised around, because we didn't want to risk our cars."
Posted 04 October 2017 - 18:04
Stefan Wilson to make second Indy 500 start in 2018 with Andretti
By David Malsher
Published on Wednesday October 4th 2017
Stefan Wilson is set to make his second Indianapolis 500 start next year after agreeing a deal to drive an Andretti Autosport-run entry in the 2018 event.
Wilson, the younger brother of the late IndyCar driver Justin, contested the 2016 running of the race for the now defunct KVSH Racing outfit.
He had made plans to make his second Indy 500 start in May earlier this year, but relinquished his Honda engine lease and slot at Andretti Autosport to allow Fernando Alonso and McLaren to put a programme together.
Wilson will however contest the 2018 event at the wheel of a #25 Driven2SaveLives Andretti Autosport-Honda entry.
"We're really happy to welcome Stefan back to Andretti Autosport and proud to see him running the #25," said Michael Andretti.
"While not on track, Stefan was a big part of our Indy 500 effort in 2017, and we're looking forward to getting him back behind the wheel at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
Wilson added: "I'm very excited to be officially joining the Andretti Autosport team for the 102nd Indy 500.
"It has been a roller-coaster ride to get here, but looking back, I'm really pleased and feel very fortunate to be in the spot I'm in now.
"I've just kept thinking about the future, knowing that I'd be joining one of the most successful teams in Indy."
Wilson, the 2007 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, will partner with the Indiana Donor Network to promote its Driven2SaveLives campaign, which aims to promote awareness of the importance of organ, tissue and eye donation and transplantation.
It is the same organisation that Wilson teamed up with for the 2016 running of the race.
His brother was registered as a donor and the donation of his organs saved the lives of five people, following his death at Pocono in 2015 after he was hit by a piece of debris.
"Ultimately, we are working to register more donors," said Wilson.
"Organ donation and transplantation is a cause I'm connected to through the loss of Justin, who saved five lives.
"We'll be working with Driven2SaveLives to provide hope to patients on the national wait list, and honor donor heroes."
Posted 05 October 2017 - 03:30
Legendary team owner Roger Penske has confirmed that in 2018 his IndyCar team will reduce from four to three fulltime entries, with Helio Castroneves running a fourth car for the Grand Prix of Indy and the Indianapolis 500.
Posted 05 October 2017 - 16:12
Roger Penske has ruled out running a fifth car at IndyCar's Indianapolis 500 in 2018 for Juan Pablo Montoya.
Montoya will drive full-time in the IMSA Sportscar Championship next season as part of Penske's all-new Acura DPi programme after switching to an Indianapolis-only IndyCar schedule last year.
The ex-Formula 1 driver had recently said he was keen to make a sixth Indy 500 appearance, but Penske confirmed he will only run a one-off entry for Helio Castroneves now he has also joined the IMSA programme.
"We are only going to run four cars next year [at Indy], which would be the three regulars, then we'd add Helio as a fourth car," said Penske.
"Last year, of course, we had four drivers and the deal I made with Juan was to run him in 2017."
Penske said that he would not stand in the way of Montoya looking for an alternative drive for the Indy 500.
"If he wants to run for another team, that would be his decision," he said.
"There would be nothing that we would say no to. It would be his decision completely."
Posted 05 October 2017 - 16:39
- Toni Kanan zvanicno potvrdjen u Fojtovom bolidu #14. Ceka se jos potvrda za bolid #4, ocekije se da ce ostati Dejli.
Posted 05 October 2017 - 23:08
A day after learning his boss, Roger Penske, would be open to letting him drive for another IndyCar team at the Indy 500, Juan Pablo Montoya says he would jump at the chance. Granted, the two-time Indy 500 winner might need some additional convincing that his boss would actually allow it to happen.
"I think it would interest me a lot if we could do it here; maybe they'd wake up one day and decide to do it, but I don't know if they're really want me to go somewhere else and race against them," Montoya told RACER.
And what if a Chip Ganassi or Michael Andretti came calling with a plum seat for the month of May?
"I would ask," he said. "If they don't want to use me here, and I could have a shot at winning somewhere else, and they were OK with it, I would ask. But I kind of doubt they'd say it was OK."
Considering his success rate at Indy, which includes a win for Penske in 2015, Montoya isn't sure the Captain would want to create a temporary adversary that could deny Helio Castroneves, Josef Newgarden, Simon Pagenaud, or Will Power from reaching Victory Lane.
"It's tough... that's why I don't think they'd let me, because I'd be a real threat," he said. "Would I do it? If Roger said, 'Juan, we can't use you, but if you get a shot, go for it and we'll see you on the grid', and I had someone good call me wanting me to do it, I'd go for it. I love racing. If it wouldn't bother Roger, it would be intriguing."
Helio Castroneves joins RACER's Marshall Pruett to discuss his shift from IndyCar to IMSA next year, and reveals how long the move has been in discussion with Team Penske.
Posted 07 October 2017 - 01:56
INSIGHT: Why IndyCar is investing in Virtual Reality
Friday, 06 October 2017
Mark Glendenning / Images by IndyCar
The revolution will not be televised, but we've known that for years. It will be live streamed, Tweeted, Instagrammed, and Snapchatted. It will have its own hashtag. TV will show the highlights package later.
Professional sports are already way ahead on that front. In recent years IndyCar has aggressively been leaning on social media and streaming as a way to reach a new 20-something fan base to match its new 20-something champion. And it seems to be working, with the series having reported a 300 percent year-on-year increase in event-based live streaming views for 2017, and more than a million followers across its various social platforms. Encouraging... for now. But IndyCar's not just looking at 'now', but at two or three years from now. Which is where Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) come into the picture.
IndyCar has partnered with Los Angeles-based virtual reality creator Mandt VR to create a suite of IndyCar-related Virtual Reality content in 2018. For those who don't yet have the Oculus hardware required to view the VR material, there will also be a universally-accessible 360 degree version. IndyCar marketing boss C.J. O'Donnell says it's all about keeping slightly ahead of changes in the way fans consume sports. When VR hardware becomes commonplace, IndyCar will have content ready and waiting.
"Our performance this past season, and you could say even before that, certainly showed that video content was driving engagement," he says.
"Video and Live Streaming really drove a lot of the improvement in our social metrics over the past couple of years. [ED: The stream of Fernando Alonso's first Indy 500 test, above, drew more than two million views]. So, this is another step in that direction, and it's a dramatic one, because it now uses new technology and a very immersive experience to draw people into the IndyCar world. I'm really confident that this technology and the experience it delivers will be appealing to young and old.
"The partner we've selected, Mandt VR, will produce video for use with the Oculus goggles and in simple 360 format, which is where most people will see most of this content. Neil Mandt can produce video for both genres, and can deliver experiences in both genres very effectively. This is very important as the content that is out there today has limited reach because there are fewer people that have invested in the goggles versus a phone or iPad. IndyCar will be in a good position as availability of the Oculus hardware increases; we will have an archive of video where people can go back and reference it. We're on a really good path to take a leadership position in storytelling through AR and VR, and Mandt is a good partner to do that with."
IndyCar has dipped its toes in the VR/360 worlds before. Two years ago, JR Hildebrand used IndyCar as the basis for STEM-based educational VR project. Also in 2015, IndyCar partnered with GoPro to produce a 360 degree video of cars crossing San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. (Use your mouse to manipulate the image in the video below)
At the moment, it's estimated that about 5 percent of North Americans own some sort of VR hardware, much of which is likely to be simple devices like Google Cardboard. A minority, to be sure – but well ahead of the more typical 3 percent ownership rates seen elsewhere. The VR industry is very much dealing with growing pains of its own as it tries to wrestle the technology, the hardware and the software into a sweet spot that translates into an affordable, appealing mainstream consumer product.
But O'Connell believes that being proactive in a still-maturing world like VR helps reinforce IndyCar's broad commitment to innovation, regardless of the current take-up rates.
"I don't have hard data on the intersection of the sales of goggles with the IndyCar fan base," he says.
"I wish I could draw that Venn diagram and give you a hard number, but I can't. I do know that nearly 100 million of the cardboard goggles have been made and a few million homes have Oculus, Samsung or similar devices.
"But our motivation here is greater than just these estimates. Innovation is one of our core values and that's not just what we do with the car or on the racetrack, but also the way we go to market. So, taking an early position in backing VR is not inconsistent with who we are and where we want to be.
"That said, it's important that the content creates an experience that is immersive and exciting, and provides the thrill of the sport both in 360 format and in VR. For the reasons we've outlined, just with the limited distribution of goggles to date, I think what we're going to see with this video content follows a growth path much like something we experienced with live streaming a few years ago.
"The first time Facebook announced that live streaming was going to be available through their platform, we decided that it would be fun to give it a try. We had a couple of thousand, maybe 3000 people watch. Now, for practice session one at Watkins Glen, we had 300,000 people watching only two years later. The pace of change today is rapid. The acceptance of the technology is prolific. And we just have to sit back and go for the ride.
"I don't think the expanded use of this technology is far off. We'll see these goggles become readily available, and VR content become more commonplace. It's just good to be out there early and learning what can be done with it, and hopefully we'll be producing some of the higher-quality content that's out there today."
Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:29
Andretti, Brown hint at further IndyCar involvement by McLaren
By: David Malsher, US Editor
Both McLaren CEO Zak Brown and Andretti Autosport team owner Michael Andretti have suggested a possible renewal of the partnership that saw McLaren return to Indy 500 competition.
McLaren-mounted drivers took three Indianapolis 500 wins (Mark Donohue in 1972, Johnny Rutherford in ’74 and ’76) and two championships (Roger McCluskey in ’73, Tom Sneva in ’77), and had amassed 28 wins in 10 years by the time it pulled out of Indy car racing at the end of 1979.
However, it returned briefly this season when Fernando Alonso skipped the Monaco Grand Prix to race a McLaren-Andretti Autosport Honda in the Indianapolis 500. He qualified fifth and led 27 laps, but was eliminated by engine failure with 21 laps to go.
Following the announcement that Brown’s United Autosports and Andretti Autosport have bought into Walkinshaw Racing Supercars team, both have suggested a possible renewal of the partnership in 2018, although neither made any reference to Alonso returning. The Spaniard has yet to renew his contract with McLaren, which will be switching to Renault engines next year.
Andretti told Motorsport.com: “There’s still a good chance that McLaren can be at Indy with us next year, so we’ll see.
“Zak is trying to get his house in order a little bit, but the plan is to do things together in the future, hopefully at Indy.”
Brown expressed similar sentiments, but suggested that improving McLaren’s fortunes in Formula 1 – it is currently ninth out of 10 teams in the constructors’ championship – was a priority.
He told Motorsport.com: “IndyCar remains of interest to McLaren. We had an outstanding experience with Andretti Autosport and we continue to explore ways to continue our involvement.
“[But] 2018 is around the corner and we are very focused on F1 right now.”
Additional reporting by Andrew van Leeuwen
Edited by Rad-oh-yeah?, 07 October 2017 - 08:30.
Posted 09 October 2017 - 05:12
- Kalendar za sezonu jos uvek nije ozvanicen, kao sto je poznato ceka se konacna odluka o trci (jednoj, dve, ili nijednoj) u Meksiku, a sada se prica i o mogucnosti da Votkins Glen bude zamenjen Portlandom:
Will Portland replace The Glen on IndyCar calendar?
Saturday, 07 October 2017
By Robin Miller / Image by Michael Levitt/LAT
ABOVE: CART Indy cars at Portland International Raceway in 1999.
The 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule isn't out yet but there's more than Mexico City holding it up. It sounds like Watkins Glen could be gone and possibly replaced by an old friend from CART's heyday.
The Glen rescued IndyCar in 2016 after the Boston race was deep sixed, but despite good races, the attendance for the Labor Day shows hasn't been much to cheer about. In a conversation with RACER last week, Watkins Glen International president Michael Printup talked about the disappointment.
"We've had two good races but it's been an uphill climb trying to make it work," said Printup, who is thought to have leased the legendary road course to IndyCar. "I don't think the dates help us any because July 4 and Labor Day don't seem to be good. I asked IndyCar about changing dates but there weren't any available."
So in the event The Glen is off the calendar, the replacement could be Portland or Nashville – with Portland the favorite based on reports the city is very interested in reviving its road course race that hosted CART from 1984-2003 and then Champ Car from 2004-'07.
Mark Miles president and CEO of Human & Company, is optimistic the schedule will be done next week but insists, "nothing has been decided or signed yet."
PIR je sagradjena 1960. godine na mestu nekadasnjeg gradica Vanporta koji je zbrisan bujicom nakon pucanja brane na reci Kolumbija 1948. godine. Ima bogatu istoriju, na njoj su se 70-tih vozile trke Trans-Am i IMSA sampionata, Indikar pod sankcijama CART i CCWS je ovde vozio od 1984. pa sve do 2007. kad je nakon ujedinjenja trka za VN Portlanda ispala iz kalendara. Staza je nedavno kompletno renovirana sa novom asfaltnom podlogom i ivicnjacima u stilu F1, sto je cini jednom od modernijih staza u SAD.
Posted 11 October 2017 - 17:54
De Ferran ‘would love’ Alonso back at Indy 500
Date published: October 11 2017
Gil de Ferran, who coached Fernando Alonso at the Indianapolis 500 this year, "would love" to work with him again should he decide to have another crack at the iconic race.
Alonso missed the Monaco Grand Prix earlier this season to try and claim the next jewel in the Triple Crown. He led for 27 laps but was forced to retire with 21 laps to go because of an all-too-familiar engine failure.
But de Ferran, an Indy 500 winner and a two-time Indy car series champion, is eager to work with Alonso again at McLaren-Andretti Autosport Honda.
“If Fernando came back, I would love to work with him again," De Ferran told Motorsport.com.
"If he decided to return and asked me to be there to bounce ideas off, or whatever, then absolutely, I’d be there.”
De Ferran feels he still has plenty offer Alonso despite him adapting quickly to oval racing.
“He was fantastic, of course, but like I kept saying at the time, ‘Did we really expect anything less?!’” said de Ferran. “He’s the ultimate professional, very talented and works very hard to be even better, and maximize what he’s got.
“That said, I believe you never stop learning. I was learning right up until my last day in a racecar. So yes, I think I could still help.
"It would be only his second race in IndyCar, second race on an oval… There’s a lot of experience to catch up on some of the best oval drivers out there.”
Posted 11 October 2017 - 17:57
IndyCar manufacturers Honda, Chevrolet begin 2018 aerokit testing
By David Malsher, Tom Errington
Published on Wednesday October 11th 2017
Honda and Chevrolet have begun their manufacturer testing of the new 2018 IndyCar aerokit, with the engine builders conducting running at Mid-Ohio and Road America respectively.
Chevrolet ran Penske driver and 2016 IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud alongside Ed Carpenter Racing's Spencer Pigot at Road America yesterday, in the first of five days allocated to the manufacturers by IndyCar before the end of the year.
It is understood that Pagenaud conducted "around 80 laps" of testing, with Pigot's total unclear.
Pagenaud's first experience of the 2018 aerokit was positive but noted in key areas it is still similar to its predecessor.
"There's definitely less grip, which is very good," he said. "It's just a different challenge and I enjoyed it.
"The acceleration is pretty strong, but I think the drag was similar to what we've had so the straightaway speed was similar in that configuration.
"There's less downforce, but the braking zone hasn't changed that much.
"The application of the brakes is a bit different, the way to steer the car into the corner is a bit different.
"But overall, we're still in the same era of car, same [Firestone] tyres as well."
Pagenaud said he was not reading too much into his lap times.
"It was a cold day on the track and with only two cars going around, there wasn't much rubber going down," he added.
"But I felt the lap times were quite decent, a couple of seconds slower compared with qualifying on reds [option tyres], but that's normal because we had less downforce.
"It feels like the acceleration is strong coming out of the corner, so I feel IndyCar really got the 2018 car right with this package."
Honda conducted its testing at Mid-Ohio with Chip Ganassi Racing and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
The manufacturer did not make clear who conducted its running, although Scott Dixon is understood to have driven the Ganassi car (pictured above).
Dixon is currently Ganassi's only confirmed driver for 2017 and James Hinchcliffe was SPM's only full-season entry last year after Mikhail Aleshin left mid-year.
Private team testing will not begin until January, while the manufacturers now have four full days of testing left before 2018.