Most of the top young drivers in the Road to Indy ladder system and three Indy Lights standouts aiming for seats in the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES will be in the spotlight during three days of testing Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test on Saturday, Oct. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 31 features drivers from Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires and the first two rungs of the Road to Indy ladder series, Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. Testing takes place from 8 a.m.-5:15 p.m. (ET) both days on the 2.75-mile IMS layout that features the “inner loop” series of turns.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES machinery will take over the track from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (ET) Monday, Nov. 1 for the Combine test, as the top three drivers in the 2021 Indy Lights standings – Kyle Kirkwood, David Malukas and Linus Lundqvist – will turn laps in Andretti Autosport and Team Penske cars. The Combine test evaluating these NTT INDYCAR SERIES prospects is a reward for finishing in the top three positions in the 2021 Indy Lights season.
Kirkwood will drive the Andretti Autosport No. 26 Honda, with Lundqvist in Andretti Autosport’s No. 29 Honda. Malukas will drive the No. 3 Team Penske Chevrolet.
There will be plenty of action during the two days of the 10th Griffis test, named in memory of Chris Griffis, the former team manager of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports who passed away suddenly in September 2011. So far, 44 drivers have been registered for the test, representing 11 countries and 15 different teams.
The foundation of the highly anticipated event is to provide new drivers with the opportunity to sample the Road to Indy while offering returning drivers the chance to hone their programs for the following year.
During the Griffis test, Indy Lights will see the advancement of several drivers testing the next step of the ladder. This list includes reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Christian Rasmussen (Andretti Autosport), Hunter McElrea (Andretti Autosport) and Kyffin Simpson, who was recently confirmed for a full 2022 season with new entrant TJ Speed Motorsports. Abel Motorsports also will move up to the top step with Jacob Abel.
New faces include Ernie Francis Jr. (HMD Motorsports), Matteo Nannini (Juncos Hollinger Racing) and the return of Matthew Brabham (Andretti Autosport), who last competed in Indy Lights in 2015. Nannini is the nephew of Formula One veteran Alessandro Nannini, while Brabham is the grandson of three-time F1 World Champion and Indianapolis 500 rear-engine innovator Sir Jack Brabham.
The Indy Pro 2000 entry list is filled with drivers looking to climb from USF2000, including USF2000 champion Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Bijoy Garg (Jay Howard Driver Development), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Josh Pierson (Pabst Racing) and Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport).
Sampling Indy Pro 2000 competition are drivers Nicholas Rivers (Jay Howard Driver Development), Casey Putsch (Legacy Autosport), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Arias Deukmedjian (Deuk Spine Racing) and Blake Upton (Turn 3 Motorsport).
USF2000 will see a mix of returning drivers and at least nine newcomers, including Jagger Jones and Nicholas d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Mac Clark (DEForce Racing), Viktor Andersson (Legacy Autosport), Ayrton Houk (Pabst Racing), TJ Thompson and Yeoroo Lee (Jay Howard Driver Development), and Lucas Mann and Ethan Ho (Exclusive Autosport).