Nyck de Vries had one mission on Monday at Sebring International Raceway and it was accomplished in emphatic style, as the Dutchman was comfortably fastest during his first NTT IndyCar Series test. Clear of the next driver by 0.6426s, the Meyer Shank Racing pilot found quick and easy speed aboard the No. 60 Honda.
After turning roughly half as many laps as Callum Ilott, Mercedes-EQ teammate Stoffel Vandoorne, and Jack Aitken, de Vries climbed from the car and gave his thoughts on the outing with MSR.
“Everyone at Meyer Shank Racing really gave me such a warm welcome right from the start,” he told RACER. “You can definitely tell that this team knows what they are doing and that they are really an Indy 500-winning team. Everyone from the engineers to even Helio (Castroneves) who stopped by gave me so much feedback and it made the day work effortlessly. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I arrived in the U.S. and what racing in the U.S. would be like, but Meyer Shank Racing really made me love it and have a new interest for it.”
As anticipated, without the benefit of power steering, all the No. 60 Dallara DW12-Honda’s downforce and mechanical grip from the Firestone tires made for a workout from inside the cockpit.
“The steering was really heavy,” de Vries continued. “I think that was the hardest thing to get used to right from the start. The car requires a lot of effort with inputs and it’s something that I had to get used to. I think the closest thing to an IndyCar that I’ve driven is an F2 car, but it’s definitely a step up from that.”
Add de Vries’ name to the growing list of drivers who are interested in what the NTT IndyCar Series might offer once he becomes a free agent leading into the 2023 season.
“I’m always interested in new opportunities,” he said. “Sure, I would love to give IndyCar a try if the opportunity came up. Testing today definitely gave me a new appreciation for it, and I can see why so many people are loving driving these cars.”