IndyCar set for more group tests in 2023

Barry Cantrell/Motorsport Images

IndyCar set for more group tests in 2023


IndyCar set for more group tests in 2023


A shift in testing strategy will have the NTT IndyCar Series using more formalized group outings for its entrants in place of some of the private test dates where teams are free to run on their own.

“We’ve got a different approach we’re looking at,” IndyCar president Jay Frye told RACER. “Like this year, if you look at it, it was more skewed towards team testing, with four team test days and one open test.

“Next year, it will flip, but not completely. We’ll do the IndyCar [500] open test again, and then it’s up to where else we’d do open series’ tests.”

RACER has learned IndyCar’s settled on doing three official tests in 2023 and has given its teams two private test days to use, with one to be utilized prior to the start of the season and the other at some point during the championship calendar; a large gathering in Monterey towards the end of the season is where most teams expect the final private test to be organized.

From there, the location of a single-day official Spring Training test and the third series’ test day await confirmation.

Frye points to the stability of the current formula, which debuted in 2018 with the switch to IndyCar’s Universal Aero Kit, and the incoming turbo-hybrid engine regulations in 2024, as a reason to change its open-vs-private testing schedule.

“There’s not a ton of new things coming out in 2023, so it’s pretty efficient to do more open tests than team tests because we can all go do it at once,” he said. “It’s just something that’s efficient for the teams and manufacturers and for Firestone for us to be all at the same place. And then, on the preseason side, we’d done Spring Training events at Phoenix and then at COTA, and not doing them the last few years with COVID, we’ve seen the effect, even from an IndyCar perspective,

Getting back in the routine of doing an official pre-season test for the field is another point of interest for Frye, who says it holds value for the operational side of IndyCar as well.

“We show up for the first race at St. Pete without having Spring Training, and we’re setting up timing and scoring, we’re setting up communications, we’re setting up all kinds of stuff and going through procedures for the first time where it’s really the first chance to run everything through since we raced last the year before,” he added.

“So doing Spring Training is a great scrimmage for all of us. Do run-throughs at the test, iron any kinks out, and get ready for St. Pete. We think that’s important, so we’re gonna look to do that again.”

The Miami-Homestead oval and road course was known to be on IndyCar’s radar during the most recent offseason as a possible site for Spring Training. The final destination could be a road course or an oval, according to Frye.

“We’ve run both before,” he said. “So this is something we’re exploring on what we could and where we could do that.”