We still have a little more than five weeks before Opening Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but today we were able to get a little taste of how it is going to feel. Nine drivers took to the famous track today, running the new aero kits that will be used here, and at Fontana at the end of the year.
Marco Andretti had the fastest recorded lap of the day, at 218.625 mph. Tony Kanaan was just behind him at 218.439 mph. Scott Dixon was the only other driver to hit the 218 mark, with a speed of 218.094 mph.
Helio Castroneves and JR Hildebrand were in the 216 range, Justin Wilson at 213, Mike Conway and Takuma Sato at 212, and Ed Carpenter was at 207, only turning 33 laps. The nine drivers combined for a total of 495 laps on Wednesday.
The conditions weren’t ideal as they would have liked. For the majority of the day it was cloudy and around 60 degrees with some gusty winds. In addition to that, the teams were running in race trim, so speeds weren’t expected to be near qualifying times. The hope was to be around 220 mph.
The teams were allowed to experiment with the rear-wing mainplane angle of between 0 and -10 degrees. The special rear wheel guards were the main focus of the test for many teams. They are much higher, and with the rear wing being lower, they actually come up slightly above the rear wing. These wheel guards create less drag and produce more downforce.
There was a lot of data collected today, some happy drivers, and even more satisfied spectators. It was a great turnout, as many people spent the entire day at IMS. We were able to get a small taste of what is going to be an incredible May, which can’t come soon enough.