Helio Castroneves’ bid for a record-setting fifth victory in the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge begins with this week’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES Open Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The two-day session Wednesday and Thursday features eight former winners of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” with Juan Pablo Montoya and Takuma Sato joining Castroneves as multi-time “500” winners.
Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan, Alexander Rossi, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud are the other former race winners participating in this annual spring session.
Castroneves is the reigning champion of the “500” after passing Alex Palou with two laps remaining in last year’s race. The Brazilian’s first chance to break the tie with fellow four-time race winners A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears will come on Sunday May 29 with the first full-capacity crowd since 2019.
Official “500” practice begins Tuesday, May 17.
The sneak peek for next month’s oval-track activities includes seven rookies, headlined by Jimmie Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion who won four Brickyard 400s at IMS, and 10-year Formula One veteran Romain Grosjean. They experienced the Speedway as INDYCAR SERIES drivers for the first time during testing last fall.
Wednesday’s action is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. (ET) with veteran drivers on the track for a two-hour session. At 1 p.m., drivers required to complete the standard Rookie Orientation Program or a refresher session can practice until 3 p.m. From 3-6 p.m., all eligible drivers may practice.
Thursday’s session is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for all eligible drivers.
The viewing mounds adjacent to the IMS Museum will be open to the public at no charge. All 13 hours of track action can be viewed live in the U.S. on Peacock Premium, NBC’s live streaming service. International fans can view the test on IndyCar Live!
The INDYCAR Radio Network will provide coverage for the all-cars sessions. The coverage will be on network affiliates, including racecontrol.indycar.com and the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA.
Participants are represented by two engine manufacturers, with Honda powering 17 cars and Chevrolet 15. The final entry list for the “500” will be confirmed at a later date.
Each car-and-driver combination will have nine sets of Firestone Firehawk tires to use. Rookie drivers will have three additional sets; drivers taking refreshers will have two additional sets.
The Rookie Orientation Program is a three-step acclimation session. Drivers must complete 10 laps in the 205-210 mph bracket followed by 15 in the 210-215 mph range and 15 more above 215 mph. Johnson and Grosjean completed their sessions in the fall, making them eligible to participate with the veteran drivers from the outset of the test.
Andretti Autosport: Alexander Rossi (W), Romain Grosjean (R)
Andretti Autosport w/Curb-Agajanian: Colton Herta
Andretti Herta Autosport w/Marco & Curb-Agajanian: Marco Andretti
Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport: Devlin DeFrancesco (R)
Chip Ganassi Racing: Tony Kanaan (W), Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon (W), Alex Palou, Jimmie Johnson (R)
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR: Takuma Sato (W)
Dale Coyne Racing with HMD: David Malukas (R)
Meyer Shank Racing: Helio Castroneves (W), Simon Pagenaud (W)
Rahal Letterman Lanigan: Graham Rahal, Jack Harvey, Christian Lundgaard (R)
AJ Foyt Racing: JR Hildebrand, Dalton Kellett, Kyle Kirkwood (R)
Arrow McLaren SP: Pato O’Ward, Felix Rosenqvist, Juan Pablo Montoya (W)
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing: Sage Karam, Santino Ferrucci
Ed Carpenter Racing: Ed Carpenter, Rinus VeeKay, Conor Daly
Juncos Hollinger Racing: Callum Ilott (R)
Team Penske: Josef Newgarden, Will Power (W), Scott McLaughlin
W-“500” winner; R-“500” rookie