The annual Chris Griffis Memorial Test returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend, with plenty of drivers ready to hit the twists and turns of the 2.75-mile “Inner Loop” road course. There are 44 drivers and 15 teams that have been registered for the test, representing 11 different countries.
The action begins on Saturday at 8:00 ET with the USF2000 series getting on track first. The Indy Pro 2000 cars will get their first taste of the action one hour later, with Indy Lights beginning their first session at 10:00 that morning. Each session lasts 45 minutes and will have a 15-minute break in between the next. Each series will have three on-track sessions, and the schedule for Sunday is the same.
The two-day test provides drivers with the opportunity to sample Road to Indy machinery while building momentum for the upcoming season. It’s named in memory of Chris Griffis, the former team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who passed away suddenly in September 2011. The foundation of the event is to provide new drivers with the opportunity to sample the Road to Indy while offering returning drivers the chance to hone their programs for the following year.
“As is the case every year, I’m really looking forward to this year’s Chris Griffis Memorial Test at IMS,” offered Road to Indy Series Development Director Rob Howden. “Driver development and preparation is at the absolute core of our mission with the Road to Indy, and this annual test is so satisfying because we get to see drivers take what they’ve learned all year and apply it to the next level of our program. It’s exciting to see how much the drivers grow and mature from the start of a season to the end and watching USF2000 drivers jump into Indy Pro 2000 cars, and so on up the ladder, is fantastic.”
Indy Lights will see the advancement of several drivers testing the next step of the ladder including reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Christian Rasmussen (Andretti Autosport), Hunter McElrea (Andretti Autosport), and Kyffin Simpson, who was recently confirmed for a full 2022 season with new entrant TJ Speed Motorsports. Abel Motorsports will also move up to the top step with Jacob Abel.
New faces include Ernie Francis Jr. (HMD Motorsports), Matteo Nannini (Juncos Hollinger Racing), and the return of Matthew Brabham (Andretti Autosport), who last competed in Indy Lights in 2015. After a successful rookie season in 2021, Sting Ray Robb has been named to join Andretti’s Indy Lights lineup for the 2022 season. Robb joined the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires series in 2017 and was crowned the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 Champion – awarding the Idaho-native a scholarship to compete in Indy Lights in 2021.
The Indy Pro 2000 entry list is peppered with drivers looking to make the move up from USF2000 including champion Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Bijoy Garg (Jay Howard Driver Development), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Josh Pierson (Pabst Racing) and Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport).
Sampling Indy Pro 2000 competition are drivers Nicholas Rivers (Jay Howard Driver Development), Casey Putsch (Legacy Autosport), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Arias Deukmedjian (Deuk Spine Racing) and Blake Upton (Turn 3 Motorsport).
USF2000 will see a mix of returning drivers and at least nine newcomers including Jagger Jones and Nicholas d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Mac Clark (DEForce Racing), Viktor Andersson (Legacy Autosport), Ayrton Houk (Pabst Racing), TJ Thompson and Yeoroo Lee (Jay Howard Driver Development) and Lucas Mann and Ethan Ho (Exclusive Autosport). Jackson Lee will pilot the third car for Cape Motorsports, driving the No. 2 entry in this test.
This year will actually be a three-day test, with an extra session scheduled for Monday. This is a reward for the top three finishers in this year’s Indy Lights championship, who earned an IndyCar test as part of their prize package. The session will run from 10 AM – 2 PM, weather permitting.
Kyle Kirkwood will be back behind the wheel of the No. 26 Honda with Andretti Autosport. Linus Lundqvist will drive the No. 29 Andretti machine with David Malukas in the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet.
Live timing of the action on Saturday and Sunday will be available on the series’ respective websites.