The NTT IndyCar Series will have an Open Test on Thursday and Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 next month. The two-day test will feature 32 cars and offer live coverage via NBC’s Peacock streaming service. The test will be closed to the public as IMS is focused on having fans in attendance for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“IMS and INDYCAR are working closely with NBC Sports to deliver what should be an exceptional show on Peacock during these two very important days of testing,” said IMS President Doug Boles. “Having the NBC Sports broadcasters, production quality, and exclusive content will deliver an engaging viewing experience that builds even more anticipation for finally coming ‘Back Home Again’ to IMS in May.”
Testing will run from 11 AM – 6 PM on Thursday and 10 AM – 4 PM on Friday. The forecast for Thursday does not look promising, with cooler temperatures and rain showers likely. Friday’s weather looks better, although it will still be rather windy. Leigh Diffey will call Thursday’s session alongside analyst Townsend Bell with Marty Snider and Kevin Lee reporting from the pits. Lee will handle play-by-play duties on Friday.
The Peacock platform will feature more than 120 total hours of coverage in May. Peacock will provide live coverage of qualifying and practice sessions as well as significant coverage surrounding the 105th Indianapolis 500, Indy Lights races, race-day warmups, and full-event replays of IndyCar races in 2021. Fans can sign up for a one-week free trial in order to watch the two-day test at IMS.
Here are the 17 Honda drivers and 15 Chevrolet drivers participating in the test:
- Team Penske (Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Simon Pagenaud, Scott McLaughlin)
- Chip Ganassi Racing (Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Alex Palou, Marcus Ericsson)
- Andretti Autosport (Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Colton Herta, Alexander Rossi, James Hinchcliffe)
- RLL Racing (Graham Rahal, Takuma Sato, Santino Ferrucci)
- Arrow McLaren SP (Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Juan Pablo Montoya)
- Ed Carpenter Racing (Rinus VeeKay, Conor Daly, Ed Carpenter)
- Meyer Shank Racing (Jack Harvey, Helio Castroneves)
- Dale Coyne Racing (Pietro Fittipaldi, Ed Jones, Cody Ware)
- AJ Foyt Racing (Sebastien Bourdais, Dalton Kellett)
- Carlin Racing (Max Chilton)
- Paretta Autosport (Simona de Silvestro)
- Dreyer & Reinbold Racing (Sage Karam)
Veteran testing will take place from 11-1 PM on Thursday, with Rookie Orientation Program and Refresher testing from 1-3 PM, and full-field testing will run from 4-6 PM. Both Ware and Fittipaldi will need to complete their Rookie Orientation on Thursday, with these nine drivers slated to take part in the Veteran refresher: Bourdais, Kellett, Hinchcliffe, Montoya, Chilton, Jones, Karam, de Silvestro, and Castroneves.
Some of the storylines to follow this week include teams that have not been officially announced yet. Dennis Reinbold is close to finalizing a deal for a single-car entry this year but has not detailed if Karam will be back in the car for the Month of May. They have a long history together around this race but have not had much success on race day.
Top Gun Racing will not be participating in the test but they do have their primary and backup cars from Dallara. They will be on-site during the test to observe and try to gather information. They have not announced details of their plans but they are believed to be running a Chevrolet engine with RC Enerson behind the wheel.
There will be plenty of new liveries on display as well, including three that were announced within the last 24 hours.
Charlie Kimball will not participate in the test in his AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet. Andretti Autosport is still trying to complete the deal for their sixth entry and has a couple of drivers in mind for the ride. Though it has not been officially announced yet, Ware will be driving the No. 52 Coyne/Rick Ware Racing Honda. The NASCAR regular will attempt to make his first career IndyCar start in the Indianapolis 500.
Official practice for the Indy 500 begins Tuesday, May 18, with more than 33 entries competing for a starting position. NTT P1 Award qualifying will be held Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23. The 105th running of the Indianapolis 500 is Sunday, May 30.