DeFrancesco set to close out Western swing at Laguna Seca
 September 16, 2021| 
  • Team News
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  • Ready for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca debut
  • DeFrancesco going from virtual to reality at Laguna

MONTEREY, Calif. – Miami-based Italian-Canadian Indy Lights racer Devlin DeFrancesco will make his debut at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna this weekend. 

Rounds 17 and 18 of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship will be run over the penultimate weekend of 2021 action for the final step of the Road to Indy ladder.
 
While DeFrancesco has never previously raced at the iconic Monterey circuit, he has completed hundreds of laps in preparation aboard his Allinsports Simulator.
 
The circuit is famous for some of the most iconic moments in INDYCAR history, including Alex Zanardi’s pass of Bryan Herta for the win in 1996 and Mario Andretti’s final INDYCAR race in 1994.
 
But it is not just the real racers who know their way around the 2.238-mile circuit. The track is one of the most popular virtual circuits across many gaming platforms, including Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport, iRacing, Assetto Corsa, Project Cars – even dating back to the INDYCAR Racing PC game from the 90s.

DeFrancesco is looking to bounce back this weekend after a challenging opening leg of the “Western Swing” in Indy Lights at Portland International Raceway. An electrical problem at the start of Round 15 put him several laps behind his rivals. In Sunday’s Round 16, he battled a handling issue aboard the No.17 entry en route to a seventh-place finish.
 
This weekend’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca weekend features a packed schedule with just a single practice session on Friday before qualifying later that afternoon.
 
Race fans can catch the action live on NBC’s Peacock streaming service throughout the weekend. REV TV will present the action for fans in Canada, while international fans can watch the live stream at The Race’s YouTube channel at the-race.com/youtube.

DEVLIN DEFRANCESCO Q&A

Q: You tested here earlier this year; what are your impressions of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca?
A:
 "I’m really looking forward to Laguna Seca. We had a great test out here early in the year, and the circuit was everything I expected and more. It includes the Corkscrew, which is obviously one of the most famous corners in the world. It’s actually not that difficult, but you do have to be careful you don’t arrive in there too hot. 

“The secret to a lap here is linking the corners together. The run from the Andretti hairpin to the Corkscrew is where you make all your time. If you make a small mistake in Turns 3, 4, 5 or 6, it can really compromise your lap. This place has a great flow to it when you get it right, and it’s really rewarding. I’ve had a lot of laps in the Indy Lights car since that test, and I can’t wait to get back on track on Friday."

Q: What makes this circuit so iconic and popular?
A:
 “There have obviously been some incredible races here in the past - not just in INDYCAR, but sportscars, MotoGP, Superbikes, and more.
“But for my generation, anyone who has any interest in the sport has already driven here virtually.

“Laguna Seca is available on virtually every single gaming platform - PlayStation, X-box, PC - everything.

“They have been replicating this track virtually since before I was born.
“I’ve done a lot of laps in preparation aboard my Allinsports simulator. That has been a big help, but there is no substitute for the real thing. I can’t wait to get back out there on Friday.”

Q: How much are you looking forward to bouncing back after Portland?

A: “That is absolutely the plan. The Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport guys have given me a super reliable car all season and last week was the first time we’ve had any problems at all.

“But we also didn’t nail the set-up – I’ll be looking forward to going back to Portland next year to really work that place out.

“For Laguna Seca, I really enjoyed the test at the start of the year, and I’m now far more familiar with the Indy Lights car. I’m very keen to bounce back with a strong weekend before we head to Mid-Ohio to close out the season.”

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