The Indianapolis Motor Speedway roared to life Wednesday as IndyCar Series drivers took to the new road course during an open test.
Twenty five drivers lapped the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course in preparation for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Drivers were enthusiastic about the new course, including Graham Rahal.
“Awesome, awesome, I love it. Already I can tell you that I think it’s probably my favorite road course track that we go to," Rahal said. "I had a blast out there. I mean the last section – 7, 8, 9, 10. It’s a hoot.”
Ryan Briscoe also praised the course, and said he believes it will allow the drivers put on a good show.
“I reckon this will be one of the best races we have all year," he said. "The racing is going to be awesome. And, looking at where they have some of the grandstands around the track, I think they’re in great position to see some really good racing.”
In addition to the 10 extra turns, the Grand Prix will also have the cars racing down the front stretch opposite of the way Indianapolis 500 fans are used to seeing. Briscoe says that will be a bigger adjustment for those in the grandstand than it is for the drivers.
“It’s definitely different. When you come in out of the last corner, hitting the front stretch out of the bottom end and heading towards 4 it’s a different view from what we’re used to," Briscoe said. "I think it’s almost stranger to see from the outside than it is from inside the car. It’ll be something for the fans to get used to.”
The 25 drivers logged more than 1,500 laps during two test sessions. Scott Dixon turned the fastest lap at 1:09.5969 with an average speed of 126.161. Briscoe was second quickest at 1:09.6558. Simon Pagenaud rounded out the top three at 1:09.7544.
The 82-lap Grand Prix of Indianapolis is May 10 at 3:30 p.m.