High winds, rain forecast for Indy 500 Open Test
Wednesday 19th April, 2023 - 11:05am
IndyCar drivers are set to be challenged due to unfavourable weather during this week’s Indianapolis 500 Open Test.
The field will be in action at The Brickyard this Thursday and Friday (local time; Friday and Saturday morning AEST) for two days of testing ahead of next month’s showpiece event.
The opening day is set to be a tricky affair, with the United States’ National Weather Service forecasting “a south southwest wind 15 to 22 mph [24 to 35km/h], with gusts as high as 33 mph [53km/h].” (For reference, pit straight runs from north to south)
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Thursday is at least set to be dry, with the mercury tipped to reach 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), but that is likely to change after the sun goes down.
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There will potentially be a thunderstorm that night and/or on Friday morning before 11:00 local time, an hour into the day’s test session, with showers likely thereafter, and a high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius).
The Thursday weather is at least something to which drivers who contested last year’s Indy 500 will be accustomed, after gusts of up to 60km/h during practice which discouraged track activity.
Scott McLaughlin also attributed his heavy crash during the race to a gust which caught him out at Turn 3, on the 151st lap of 200.
The three-time IndyCar race winner is one of 33 confirmed drivers for this week’s test, meaning that a full field will fill out the 11 rows of three at the speedway next month.
The additions to the usual field are Marco Andretti (Andretti Autosport), Tony Kanaan (McLaren), Ryan Hunter-Reay and Stefan Wilson (Dreyer & Reinbold Racing), and Katherine Legge (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing), while Ed Carpenter is back in the oval-only entry for his eponymous team and Takuma Sato slides back into the #11 Chip Ganassi Racing entry which Marcus Armstrong drove at Long Beach in recent days.
However, there could be a 34th car in action, with Abel Motorsports to field RC Enerson in the event, meaning there will be bumping to earn a place on the starting grid.
Before then, Thursday’s testing programme will be split into sessions for Veterans, Rookie Orientation/Refreshers, and an all-in hit-out, before the full field has another six hours of running on Friday.
Schedule: Indianapolis 500 Open Test
|Thursday, April 20|
|13:00||15:00||03:00||05:00||Rookie Orientation Programme and refresher tests|
|Friday, April 21|
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