Next week, over half of the IndyCar field will come together for a private test session at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
In all, 14 of the 27 road and street course drivers will be present for the test on Monday, March 13, including last week’s winner Marcus Ericsson and the reigning series champion Will Power.
Among the teams brining all of their cars and drivers will be Chip Ganassi Racing, Meyer Shank Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Team Penske.
Juncos Hollinger Racing will also be present with rookie Agustin Canapino running laps, as will AJ Foyt Racing with their rookie Benjamin Pedersen.
Teams often group together for test days in order to help share costs, such as track rental and catering, between each other. However, the number of teams and driver at this particular test is evidence of the importance of getting cars dialed in for the first true road course of the season.
The preseason test that all teams attended at The Thermal Club had limited value in setting up cars for any particular track on the calendar, and was more useful in getting teams and drivers back in the groove ahead of the season.
The upcoming test at Barber will be one of only two allowed private test days for each of these drivers during the season.
IndyCar’s rules were updated to have two open test sessions this year, at which every full-time driver is expected to attend, and only two other private test days are permitted per entry.
The forecast for the area shows a significant amount of rain in the days leading up to the test, but mild and dry conditions should greet the crews for the actual test day.
The entire grid will be return to Barber Motorsports Park on the weekend of April 30 for round four of the championship, the Children’s of Alabama Indy Grand Prix.