As the countdown to the Open-Wheels 500 continues, drivers will get their first chance to venture onto track this upcoming Saturday for the first Open-Wheels Grand Prix.
The brand new road course replaces the traditional “Day before the 500” festivities such as the Veterans 100 and Pit Stop Competition as the Open-Wheels 500 moves to a Saturday for the very first time. The 75 lap race will feature 35 of the best who will duke it out to become the first ever Open-Wheels Grand Prix Champion.
The event which will see teams and drivers from all over the world represented on track and through the live broadcast on RaceSpot TV. The 2.60 mile, 14-turn course will see lap times around 1:12s and speeds upwards of 150mph.
The updated Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Road Course, which was released in the 2022 Season 3 build combining fast straights, heavy braking zones with big kerbs to watch, as well as a super fast chicane where precision is required. With warm weather expected and two tyre compounds to utilize, strategy will play a vital role just as it does in the NTT IndyCar Series – and that’s before you factor in the lurking presence of safety cars!
The field is stacked with heavy hitters that dominate attention across the entry list. The inaugural winner of the iRacing IndyCar Open Series race at the new IMS just a handful of weeks ago was Brandon Traino – the 3 time iRacing Indy 500 winner. Traino leads the list of 35 who will tackle the road course. Other notable names include Adam Crane, Connor Harrington, and Valtteri Alander who will all aim to challenge the King of the Bricks.
Other drivers excited for the race include Alex van de Sandt and Mitchell Welker, with van de Sandt saying, “The [Indianapolis] road course gets mixed reactions from a lot of people but personally I love it.”
Welker was cautious about his chances, “it’s hard to say…because this is my first entry to such a big event…but I guess gauging off of my experience and my level of comfort with the car, I do think at least a top 10 is attainable with good preparation. Myself and my engineer Mike Hurley have worked really well together in FIS this season, we clinched the title a couple races ago, and the rest of the AAiR squad that are helping prepare this car know what they’re doing, plus we have a fair bit of external help too, so all together I expect good things.”.
Apex Racing Team driver Ben Fuller will look to show off his World Championship Open-Wheel experience in the big show. Philip Kraus, Jacob Oster, Presley Sorah, Henry Bennett, Brendan Lichtenberg, and Andrew Marquez are amongst the other names in the field showcasing its depth and diversity with Sorah coming off his Monday Night Racing championship earlier in 2022.
The Open-Wheels Grand Prix will open the Month of November but focus will swiftly shift to the task at hand – taking the victory of the 3rd Open-Wheels 500. The first of the practice sessions will run on Monday, November 7th with further sessions in the lead up to Qualifying running on Wednesday, November 9th, and Friday, November 11th.
On the 9th of November, drivers will also find out when they will attempt their first runs of qualifying with the Qualifications Draw Special live on RaceSpot TV. It all then builds to the most nerve-wracking two days of the year – qualifying. The Pole Day on Saturday, November 12th and Bump Day on Saturday, November 13th.
Full coverage of the Month of November is available exclusively on RaceSpot TV, the official broadcast partner of Open-Wheels.com since the 2020 Open-Wheels 500 Mile Race.