INDIANAPOLIS – Three drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Andretti Autosport’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Dallara IL-15 cars this weekend for the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test.
2016 USF2000 champion Australian Anthony Martin, who finished as the runner-up in the Pro Mazda Championship this year, will join current Andretti Indy Lights drivers Colton Herta and Ryan Norman at the test.
All three drivers will take laps around the 2.439-mile, 14-turn IMS road course during the two-day event.
For Martin, the Griffis Memorial Test will mark his first-ever track time in an Indy Lights machine.
“The time has finally come to jump into an Indy Lights car. I am so excited to be testing at Indianapolis with Andretti Autosport, and I am looking forward to working in a professional environment with everyone, eager and ready to learn more,” said Martin. “The Mazda Road to Indy program has given me the opportunity to move forward and advance my motorsport career, having goals when I first came to America in 2015 to do the best I could in USF2000.”
“Thankfully, I was able to turn that into a championship win in 2016, earning a scholarship from Mazda to move up the ladder to Pro Mazda. I can’t wait for what my future holds in this new challenge!”
Herta returns to the seat of an Andretti Indy Light car fresh off a third-place finish and top rookie honors in the championship this year, while Norman comes back to the cockpit following an 11th-place result in points.
“I think the test is going to be interesting. Hopefully, the weather plays out nicely,” said Herta. “You can switch up pretty quickly from cold to hot this time of year, and we hope to have weather on our side. Indy was a place where, I think, we struggled for race pace, so I’m looking forward to getting back and seeing what we can do.”
“I’m super excited to get the testing going. I think we just need to get the balance right – that’s the main thing. Hopefully, we can get the balance sorted out and more to my liking. We had great qualifying pace at Indy … we qualified P2 there for the second race of the weekend, but want to work on long run pace.”
“I can’t wait to get back into the car at the Chris Griffis Memorial this weekend,” added Norman. “I absolutely love Indianapolis Motor Speedway and we showed good speed in the races this past year. I’m looking forward to building off that experience, and working with Andretti Autosport toward a successful test.”
Andretti Autosport planned to field four cars for this weekend’s test, however due to illness, Dalton Kellett will not participate in on-track activities.
Debuting in 2011, the test honors Chris Griffis, a longtime member of the motorsports community who led the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian Indy Lights organization before passing unexpectedly in September 2011.
The two-day event will feature all three tiers of the Mazda Road to Indy on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course Circuit Saturday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 22
Last year’s test saw more than 40 drivers representing 12 countries participate in on-track activities.
Andretti Autosport contributed material to this staff report.