A one-day Firestone Indy Lights test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway designed to offer rookie drivers more experience on the 2.5-mile oval offered up a preview of what to expect on Freedom 100 Race Day on May 25.
As the five-hour session wound down, the field staged a fairly race-realistic in the remaining 15 minutes that was a sight to see for any fans that came out to watch, and for the drivers themselves.
"It was an interesting last 10 minutes," said Gustavo Yacaman, who put down the fastest lap with a time of 47.3528 seconds, 190.063mph. "It was very fast and pretty on the edge, but as every lap is at this place, it was also a lot of fun. I'm so lucky to be able to drive here again. It's a special place and coming out of any test on top, but especially at this place, is a positive."
Seventeen drivers got in laps at the famed racetrack. The time differential from first to 17th place was 0.6765 of a second. Chase Austin was uninjured in the day's only incident on track.
For some, the session was their first at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Unlike the IZOD IndyCar Series the drivers, who spent most of the month practicing and qualifying for the event, Firestone Indy Lights drivers will not hit the track again until practice on May 24.
"It was just amazing out there today," said Sam Schmidt Motorsports driver Oliver Webb. Everyone tells you how it's going to be the first time you do it flat. But nothing really prepares you for it. I compare it to a concrete jungle really. You can't see anything else except the tunnel you're driving in. And with these massive grandstands, it really is a spectacle.
"When we went around the track this morning in a regular car, I was thinking, 'Geez, these corners are a lot longer than places like Vegas,' but then I found out you get through them pretty quickly in an Indy Lights car doing 190 mph. We did get a lot done today during the test, and I'm really looking forward to the race. It's going to be an exciting couple of weeks.