*Actually, uh, we’re, uh, only at 32 and holding… nothing to see here…
**NOT a circle, nor really an oval, tbh, more like a rounded rectangle. Or, as Alonso put it astutely 5 years ago, a road course with four straights and four Parabolicas.
***Weather permitting, and the month of April is as cruel in Indy as the month of May.
32 is just a number...
All the participants for the Indy 500 will be converging on Indianapolis for an Open Test to be held this Wednesday and Thursday, April 20-21. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em on Wednesday. Tires, I mean. Tires.
Wednesday April 20 (all times Eastern Daylight Time)
11am - 1pm: Veteran drivers only
1pm – 3pm: Rookie drivers only (rookie orientation program)
3pm - 6pm: All-skate
Thursday April 21
10am - 4pm All-day, All-skate (but don’t be surprised if the early part of the session is held for any rookie who didn’t complete ROP the day before)
Where can I see it?
GREAT QUESTION. Full coverage is on Peacock in the USA; overseas, well, hopefully there will be a livestream on the Indycar website or on Youtube perhaps. Maybe a Nigerian? Pretty please? Indycar, are you listening?
Live Timing should be up on the Indycar website regardless of TV coverage
And, probably, for esteemed forum member BSquared only, in-person attendance available on the Turn 2 viewing mounds.
Who’s in it?
Well, first of all, we’ve got a bumper rookie class this year. Seven of them, though two of them may end up playing with the veterans. Grosjean and Johnson already “passed” Rookie Orientation back in October, although they didn’t officially finish Stage 3 due to a rainout, so they owe the stewards just a few ROP laps. Whether this means they get to play with the rookies or with the veterans on Wednesday is unclear.
Kyle Kirkwood (#14 – Foyt)
David Malukas (#18 – Coyne)
Romain Grosjean (#28 – Andretti)
(note: first Indy 500 for Grosjean, but he’s ran two ovals now, Gateway last season and Texas this season.)
Devlin DeFrancesco (#29 – Andretti)
Christian Lundgaard (#30 – Rahal)
Jimmie Johnson (#48 - Ganassi) (second Indycar season, but first year on ovals, bless you Chandra)
(note: JJ finished an impressive 6th at the Texas oval last month but fractured a finger at Long Beach last week, which may hinder his progress at this test).
Calum Ilott (#77 – Juncos)
Here are the full-season veterans (bold denotes former Indy 500 winners):
Josef Newgarden (#2 – Penske)
Scott McLaughlin (#3 – Penske)
Dalton Kellett (#4 – Foyt)
Pato O’Ward (#5 – McLaren)
Helio Castroneves (#06 – Shank)
Felix Rosenqvist (#7 – McLaren)
Marcus Ericsson (#8 – Ganassi)
Scott Dixon (#9 – Ganassi)
Alex Palou (#10 – Ganassi)
J.R. Hildebrand (not in bold, ouch!) (#11 – Foyt, ride-share with Calderon)
Will Power (#12 – Penske)
Graham Rahal (#15 – Rahal)
Conor Daly (#20 – Carpenter)
Rinus Veekay (#21 – Carpenter)
Colton Herta (#26 – Andretti)
Alexander Rossi (#27 – Andretti)
Jack Harvey (#45 – Rahal)
Takuma Sato (#51 – Coyne)
Simon Pagenaud (#60 – Shank)
And here are the part-time entries and one-offs to fill out (well…) the field.
Juan Montoya (#6 – McLaren)
Santino Ferrucci (#23 - Dreyer and Reinbold)
Sage Karam (#24 - Dreyer and Reinbold)
Ed Carpenter (#33 - Paretta, haha still playing, Carpenter, ovals-only entry)
Tony Kanaan (#84 – Ganassi)
Marco Andretti (#98 - Top Gun, nah just playing, Andretti)
Why are we only at 32 entries? Isn’t Indycar booming?
Well, therein lies a discussion. There are a lot of limiting factors.
- Engine leases are limited. Honda has agreed to provide up to 18 engines, Chevy up to 16. That means we max out at 34 at best.
- Good quality pit crews and team members are at a premium, because they’ve been soaked up by the 26 full season entries. Whoever runs the 33rd entry is going to be cobbling together a team at the last moment. Paging the Wood Brothers…
- The highest in line for the 33rd entry would probably be Paretta Autosport and Simona deSilvestro, with their Penske technical backing; however, they only have partial season funding and have committed themselves to running street and road courses later in the season, rather than spending it all on Indy.
- In late breaking news, Juncos-Hollinger has said they will run a 33rd car as an absolute last resort, but they “really don’t want to”. That’s rousing enthusiasm, ain't it?
- The next closest would be Cusick Motorsports with Stefan Wilson, but they have yet to secure full funding.
- Everyone else on the sidelines needs more money/tubs/engine leases than we have need for the magical “33”, frankly. Some of the names involved are interesting, anyhow. Kat Legge, Zach Veach, Ryan Hunter-Reay, RC Enerson among others. Bring your helmet to the Turn 2 mounds.
So, are we ready? Let’s enjoy anywhere from zero to two rain-specked days of 32 cars running around in rectangles!