IndyCar reveals Thermal Club test schedule

IndyCar has released a draft of The Thermal Club test schedule

IndyCar has released a draft of The Thermal Club test schedule. Picture: The Thermal Club Instagram

IndyCar has released the draft schedule for its 2023 pre-season test at The Thermal Club.

The series announced last October that it would hold an Open Test at the country club-style venue in California for the first time, on February 2-3.

Now, a schedule has been released, showing eleven-and-a-half hours of running across four sessions, two per day either side of a lunch break and two-seater rides.

Action will get underway on the Thursday at 09:00 local time/PT (Friday 03:00 AEDT) and wrap up on the following afternoon at 16:30.

As previously announced, IndyCar will use a 2.9mi (4.6km) circuit layout formed by combining The Thermal Club’s North Palm and South Palm tracks.

Manufacturers will unload on the preceding Tuesday, January 31 and teams on the Wednesday.

That will be one of three Open Tests in 2023, the others being the two-day affair at The Brickyard in April in preparation for the Indianapolis 500 and a Thursday hit-out at a resurfaced Laguna Seca which effectively turns the season finale into a four-day race meeting.

The Thermal Club

Picture: The Thermal Club Instagram

The Thermal Club includes luxury homes, a ‘motorsports village’, and gourmet restaurants, and was named in 2017 as the ‘Motorsport Facility of the Year’ at the Professional Motorsports World Expo.

At least 11 drivers will arrive there already somewhat ‘match-fit’ given they are set to race in the 24 Hours of Daytona on the weekend prior, namely Team Penske’s Will Power (GTD), Josef Newgarden (LMP2), and Scott McLaughlin (LMP2); Chip Ganassi Racing’s Scott Dixon (GTP); Andretti Autosport’s Colton Herta (GTP), Romain Grosjean (GTD Pro); Devlin DeFrancesco (LMP2), and Kyle Kirkwood (GTD); Ed Carpenter Racing’s Rinus VeeKay (LMP2); and Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud (GTP) and Helio Castroneves (GTP).

For Power, it will be his first official IndyCar outing since becoming a two-time champion when he finished third at Laguna Seca on September 11, 2022.

In doing so, he pipped Newgarden to the title, with McLaughlin making it all three Penske entries in the top four, split by Dixon.

The first race of the 2023 IndyCar season takes place at St Petersburg on the weekend of Sunday, March 5.

Schedule: IndyCar Open Test, The Thermal Club Draft

Local time/PT AEDT Session
Start Finish Start Finish
Thursday, February 2
09:00 11:30 04:00* 06:30* Test 1
13:30 16:30 08:30* 11:30* Test 2
Friday, February 3
09:00 11:30 04:00* 06:30* Test 3
13:00 16:30 08:00* 11:30* Test 4

* Next day

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