By: Tanner Watkins
February 24, 2020 | 10:30 PM
Per the release of the official NTT IndyCar Series rulebook, it has been revealed that the first on-track action at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2020 will come via an open test on April 30.
While fans begin their countdown to the season opener in St. Petersburg, Indiana residents will be looking forward to the last Thursday in April as an opportunity to see preparations for the 104th Indianapolis 500 begin in earnest.
The test will come just four days after the IndyCar round at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Additionally, teams will have four sets of tires to work with at this open test.
As stated in the rule book (Rule 184.108.40.206.3.1.), eligible participants will include all teams who have formally entered a car for the Indianapolis 500, plus any full-season rookies who have previously completed a superspeedway Rookie Orientation Program and have prior INDYCAR approval.
For an up-to-date record of the Indy 500 field as it currently stands, check out our outlook on the race here. The deadline for teams to submit entries to this year’s “500” is Friday, May 15.
Last year, the IMS open test was held on April 24 with 29 drivers taking part in the festivities. 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato was quickest out of the full-time drivers that day, while Colton Herta was the quickest rookie on-track.
Sato’s fast lap of that day came in at just a tick under 227 miles per hour. Also of note, last spring’s open test featured the speedway debut of the Advanced Frontal Protection (AFP) device that would be mandated during the month of May – and into the rest of the 2019 season.
This year’s pre-May test will feature the first opportunity for fans to see more than a couple of cars on-track in superspeedway trim with the newly-developed aeroscreen. Last fall, Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon tested the cockpit protection device in its maiden run at the Speedway – to generally positive remarks.
It is widely expected that fans will be able to take in the action on April 30 via the Turn 2 viewing mounds as well as the IMS Museum parking lot. The event has not required an admission fee in years’ past.
There have been no announcements regarding streaming or NBC Sports Gold broadcasts of the open test to this point.
Header image by Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR.