It’s the Merry Month of May and things are starting to get busy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for several events. The weather is warm with hazy blue skies and a slight but welcome breeze.
The Verizon IndyCar Series is quietly readying for its first practice session for Saturday’s Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, on the road course. Twenty-five cars will run for two hours starting at 11am ET, and then again at 3pm ET for 100 minutes.
One new driver who hasn’t been seen yet this year will be Justin Wilson of England who will be driving No.25 Andretti Autosport Honda in both the road race and the Indy 500. He certainly is all smiles and glad to be back in the IndyCar Series, if only for the month. He’s optimistic about putting something together for more IndyCar races.
Another familiar face back for this month is JR Hildebrand of Sausalito CA, driving No.6 Preferred Freezer CFH Racing Chevrolet. He also is running both races with CFH. Last year he drove for Ed Carpenter, who is the C in CFH – Carpenter Fisher Hartman Racing.
This weekend Dale Coyne’s road course drivers are Carlos Huertas/No.18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda, and Rookie Francesco Dracone of Italy in No.19 Dale Coyne Racing Honda.
There are three Rookies for the road race – Dracone, Stefano Coletti/No.4 KV Racing Technology Chevrolet, and Gabby Chaves/No.98 Angie’s List Honda.
Only a few cars have gone through the Technical Inspection process, which is not required prior to being on track for the road course sessions. In Gasoline Alley, most of the cars which are in their respective garages are face in so all that’s visible is the rear end of the cars. A few car parts are stacked up, and others are being carted off to Pit Lane.
In between the IndyCars will be the Mazda Road To Indy Series – Cooper Tires USF2000 power by Mazda, Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires, and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires.
The USF2000 Series has 17 drivers, 12 of whom are Rookies. Pro Mazda has 22 drivers in two classes – of whom thirteen are Rookies and four are ‘Expert,’ which is a sub-class for the more mature drivers. Indy Lights has twelve drivers, ten of whom are Rookies.
So far, in the USF200 Series, Nico Jamin/No.2 Cape Motorsports w/WTR was fastest in the morning practice, at 1:26.1732/101.892 mph. Rookie Timoth Buret/No.6 Juncos Racing was the quickest Pro Mazda driver at 1:22.4590/105.206 mph. Rookie Ed Jones was the fastest Indy Lights driver in No.11 Carlin, at 1:15.7095/115.975 mph.
There is a variety of other vehicles and ways to get around the garage. There are golf carts, and then there are golf carts.