INDIANAPOLIS – official release — IndyCar photo — Familiar names and new faces will converge on Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend for the fourth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy open test.
Named in honor of the former team manager for multiple Indy Lights championship-winning Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian who passed away in September of 2011, the two-day test will feature all three levels of the highly acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course as well as demonstration laps of the Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights car to be driven by Verizon IndyCar Series driver Josef Newgarden.
In addition to serving as a jumpstart to established campaigns, the test serves as an audition for teams and drivers working on new programs in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The Speedway road course venue will host double-header rounds for all three series in 2015.
Many drivers will be turning their first laps in their respective next steps on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder including reigning Pro Mazda champion Spencer Pigot, who will be running with the Schmidt Peterson squad as the team also welcomes Parker Kligerman and former Atlantic Series regular Alan Sciuto at the outing. Dalton Kellett, who contested the Toronto round of Indy Lights competition last year, will return with Pabst Racing.
In Pro Mazda, 2014 USF2000 champion Florian Latorre will test the waters with his multiple championship-winning Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing team as several surprises dot the entry lists. Reigning champions Juncos Racing will roll in with series regular and race winner Jose Gutierrez, who will be joined by Garett Grist (who won two races as a rookie in 2014 with Andretti Autosport), Austin Cindric (who finished on the podium in this year’s USF2000 Night Before the 500 race) and newcomer Timothe Buret.
Neil Alberico will run under the Andretti Autosport awning with a yet-to-be-announced teammate at the test while Team Pelfrey will campaign Augie Lerch, Peter Portante, Patricio “Pato” O’Ward and Jeff Garibotti, and Michael Johnson returns with his JDC MotorSports team.
Cape Motorsports is on deck with three USF2000 entries for series sophomores Nico Jamin and Adrian Starrantino, and Canadian karting standout Parker Thompson – who will also test with JDC MotorSports – as is Afterburner Autosport who will see Jordan Bernloehr and Christian Ross join team regular Victor Franzoni. Jake Eidson will align with Will Owen in the Pabst Racing camp while ArmsUp Motorsports returns with James Dayson and a second driver to be announced.
All three ladder series will share equal track time with individual one-hour sessions in the morning, followed by 75-minute sessions in the afternoon on each of the two days.