Wrapping Up a Busy Week

Alexander Rossi photo by James Black, Indycar

Yesterday seemed awfully quiet after a week of nonstop IMSA and Indycar activity.

The Spring Training at Thermal Club wasa hit with the drivers and car owners. There is some talk of a race at the facility, but I think it is a long shot. It is a private club, and a lot of infrastructure work needs to bring it up to Indycar and FIA standards. I think the race would be mainly for the club members, not the average fan. It could be Indycar’s version of the F1 Miami Grand Prix without the fake harbor.

I hope some club members had their interest piqued and want to invest in a team in some way. For now, let’s leave this track as a Spring Training site, and maybe allow a limited number of fans in next year.

Rolex 24 Gallery

Some photos taken by a pure amateur at the Rolex 24. As I said earlier, the GTP cars are beautiful and it is nice to have cars with distinct looks and sounds.

01 Cadillac
24 BMW
Turn 1 action.
Turn 3
On the banks
The Vasser Sullivan Lexus fought hard to earn a podium.

Kirkwood Leads Final Test

Photo from @FollowAndretti

Kyle Kirkwood led the fourth test session at The Thermal Club this afternoon. Kirkwood finished second, third, and first in the three sessions he ran. His team needed to change a clutch yesterday afternoon, and Kirkwood missed the second round. Kirkwood’s time of 1:38.8279 was the third fastest overall for the two days.

Kirkwood spoke about his excitement to be with Andretti this season.

“My entire goal last year was to take a car that everyone knows
is usually mid pack or towards the back and put it up front.
That was always a goal of mine. That was exciting for me.
It’s also exciting to be in a fast car and be fast in a fast car.
There’s benefits to both. I’m just as excited as I was last
year, to be honest. I’m definitely leaving this place in a happier spot than most
of the events last year.”

The Spring Training event at The Thermal Club seems to have been a big hit with the drivers, but they expressed doubts about holding a race there. Kirkwood thinks it would be a lot like Barber, with few passing opportunities..


Ericsson Leads Session 3

Marcus Ericsson of Chip Ganassi Racing led the third Spring Training session as lap timnes continue to improve. 13 drivers had times in the 1:38 range. Yesterday’s leader, Colton Herta, was 14th. Kyle Kirkwood, who missed the second round yesterday afternoon, was third fastest nthis morning. Kirkwood was second quick Thursday morning.

The session ended about 90 seconds early when Felix Rosenqvist suffered his third off road of the two days of practice.


The final test session begins at 4:30 PM eastern.

Testing Continues- Can Herta Be Caught?

Indycar photo by Joe Skibinski

Today’s schedule at Thermal Club:

  • Test 3: Friday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
  • Test 4: Friday, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. PT

Timing and scoring on Indycar.com

Marshall Pruett will also post some video on YouTube

I will have a wrapup tonight and session results throughout the day.

Some news broke last night regarding the Indianapolis 500. If you missed it , here is the link:

    Double Points Get the Checkered Flag

    Herta Sweeps Day 1 as Times Drop in Session 2

    Colton Herta posted the fast time in the afternoon session of Indycar’s open test in California. His teammate Kyle Kirkwood, second in the morning round, did not participate in the second session. The team was replacing the clutch on the 27 Auto Nation Honda.

    13 cars cracked the 100 second mark.

    The results:

    Tomorrow’s schedule is similar to today’s. Session 3 begins at noon Eastern time.

    Herta Quickest in Session 1

    Photo from @FollowAndretti

    Colton Herta led an Andretti 1-2 in the opening test session of 2023 at The Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California. Kyle Kirkwood was second in his Andretti Autosport debut Herta had the only lap under one minute,forty seconds.

    From photos and videos I have seen, the track looks beautiful and the mountain backdrop provides a spectacular setting.

    The results:

    Session 2 began at 4:30 Eastern time and runs until 7:30.

    2023 Begins- Thermal Club Open Test

    The NTT Indycar Series begins its 2023 season with a two day open test at the Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California. All teams will have 11 hours of test time on the 2.9 mile, 17 turn track beginning at noon Eastern today.. There is talk of having a race here someday, but a lot work will be needed to bring the track up to race quality.

    The schedule:

    Session start times:  All times Pacific

    • Test 1: Thursday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
    • Test 2: Thursday, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. PT 

    • Test 3: Friday, 9:00 – 11:30 a.m. PT
    • Test 4: Friday, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m. PT

    Live streaming is not available, but timing and scoring will be on the Indycar app.

    Indycar Opens Season with Thermal Club Test

    Indycar Spring Training returns with an open test at The Thermal Club in California. Two other open tests are scheduled for 2023. The release from Indycar:

    NTT INDYCAR SERIES To Host Open Test
    at The Thermal Club

     Three Open Tests in 2023 Include Annual Indy 500 Open Test, 
    Test at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

    INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, Oct. 10, 2022) – INDYCAR will conduct three Open Tests for 2023 in preparation for key moments during the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season.
    The first Open Test of 2023 will feature the series’ initial trip to The Thermal Club for a season preview Thursday and Friday, Feb. 2-3. The private, world-class facility, located just outside of Palm Springs, California, opened its 470-acre property in 2012 and is known as a premier circuit for club racers and sports car enthusiasts.
    INDYCAR will use a combination of the North Palm and South Palm circuits to create a 17-turn, 2.9-mile layout for the 2023 test.
    “We liken this to a preseason scrimmage,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “The teams will be doing everything it takes to prepare for a run at the 2023 championship at a new and unique backdrop for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. The facility is spectacular, and I know everyone at The Thermal Club cannot wait to welcome our paddock.”
    Located at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains and known as the ultimate destination for driving-minded motorsports enthusiasts, The Thermal Club has everything from luxury homes to a motorsports village and gourmet restaurants. The facility was named “Professional Motorsport Facility of the Year” at the 2017 Professional Motorsports World Expo in Germany.
    “For us, it means every INDYCAR fan is going to get an inside look at the best cars in the world on what we think is the best track in the world,” said John Rogers, owner, The Thermal Club.
    “It’s a wonderful thing, and we’re very happy it’s worked out with INDYCAR and Thermal.”
    The Indy 500 Open Test is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, April 20-21 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The annual test on the famed 2.5-mile oval provides crucial preparation for the 107th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, scheduled for Sunday, May 28. The entire field for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is expected to participate in the test.
    The third and final Open Test of the 2023 season comes Thursday, Sept. 7 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, just three days before the Astor Challenge Cup is awarded to the season champion at the same facility after the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey.
    Drivers at the Laguna Seca test will get an extra day to come to grips with the planned repave of the legendary 2.238-mile facility, which is expected to be completed by June 2023.The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season opens Sunday, March 5 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg presented by RP Funding on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Coverage will be available on NBC, Peacock Premium and the INDYCAR Radio Network.