Full Indianapolis road course open test results

Scott Dixon set the fastest time of the day on Wednesday, as the Verizon IndyCar Series field got their first chance to try out the new 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course circuit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ahead of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 10.

Dixon's time of 1:09.5969s (126.161mph) came in the afternoon session, and was almost two seconds faster than Will Power who was the pacesetter in the morning with a time of 1:11.2128s (123.298mph), thanks to the build-up of rubber adding grip to the new circuit over the course of five hours of track availability.

Related Articles

"I've obviously got a big smile on my face," said Dixon. "The track was so much fun today. The thing they captured, it's a demanding circuit. The cars all seem very close which is going to create some fantastic racing."

Second fastest in both sessions and for the day overall was Dixon's Ganassi team mate Ryan Briscoe, who was one of two drivers (along with Graham Rahal) to test various potential new configurations for the road course last September. The Australian said that he was happy with the decisions that had been taken as a result of his early input into the process.

"It's just a lot of fun to drive and fun to be learning a new track," he said. "Turn 1 and down the Hulman Boulevard straight into Turn 7 will be big passing zones. You come out of Turn 4, sort of a medium-speed corner, and then flat out through a chicane going up through the gears almost as fast as the front straight into another big brake zone. You have those two corners and overall it's really fast and flowing and lots of changes of direction."

The new circuit - a $5m adaptation of the old F1 Grand Prix circuit running through the in-field of IMS that was carried out over the winter - includes a run down a section of the 2.5-mile speedway track, albeit in the opposite direction to the way it is run in the Indianapolis 500.

"Driving the car it doesn't feel strange because you're focused on hitting your marks," said Briscoe about how it felt to be driving in the 'wrong' direction at the famous venue. "But every time I'm on pit lane and looking at the cars going out it just doesn't look right!"

Going clockwise was slightly less strange for those drivers in the line-up that had competed in the Formula One United States Grand Prix when it was held at Indianapolis, including Justin Wilson, Juan Pablo Montoya and Takuma Sato.

"I think this new track is going to be a lot better," said Wilson. "The corners leading into the back straight give you a lot of options and so does the corner leading into the front straight, so you can definitely try and set something up and the straights are long enough that you can definitely make something happen."

By the end of the day's testing, 19 cars were within a second of Dixon's time. In total, 25 cars were in action, with Franck Montagny (Andretti Autosport) and Martin Plowman (AJ Foyt) added to the regular field for the inaugural road course race.

As the reigning Indianapolis 500 champion, Tony Kanaan was given the honour of running the first official test lap of the new circuit at 10am local time. Will Power was the first driver to trigger a red flag 22 minutes into the day's activity when he stopped at pit in.

Other red flags during the day were caused by Oriol Servia (stopping between turns 12 and 13), Mikhail Aleshin (needing a tow back to pit lane after breaking down on his first lap of the afternoon), Helio Castroneves (stopped between turns 2 and 3) and Takuma Sato (running off at turn 7.)

Full Indianapolis road course open test results