Colton Herta paces Opening Day of Spring Training

By: Spencer Neff
February 2, 2023

2023 Spring Training Open Test-Day 1 Combined Results

With the 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season a month away from the opening race at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida, preparations for the season have ramped up.

This week, all 27 entries took to the 3.067-mile, 17-turn road course at the Thermal Club in California.

Team Penske’s Will Power laps the circuit at The Thermal Club (Image By Chris Jones/INDYCAR)

During the first of four sessions across two days of testing, Andretti Autosport made it a 1-2 finish to the two and a half-hour session. Late in the running, Colton Herta edged out new teammate Kyle Kirkwood by .093 of a second. Herta clocked a best lap of 1m39.9303 (110.489 mph).

Session 1 Results

Simon Pagenaud, whose Meyer Shank Racing team shares a technical alliance with Andretti, ended the morning session in third. Rinus VeeKay of Ed Carpenter Racing was the fastest of the 12 Chevrolet entries in fourth. 2022 Series Champion Will Power began his title defense with the sixth-best time.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Marcus Armstrong, who is slated to contest the road and street course portion of the schedule, was the fastest rookie of each session.

Armstrong during his first Open Test day (James Black/INDYCAR)

In the afternoon, Herta continued to lead the way in a Honda-dominated session. A clutch change kept Kirkwood on pit road for the afternoon, the only driver not to record a lap at speed.

The driver of the No. 26 would the day with a best time of 1m39.3721 (111.110 mph), finishing .0046 of a second clear of 2022 Rookie of the Year Christian Lundgaard of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Session 2 Results

Ganassi’s Alex Palou and Herta’s teammate Romain Grosjean made it a Honda Top 4. Power would be the quickest Chevrolet in fifth.

Aside from Kirkwood, only Josef Newgarden was unable to improve from his fastest lap in the opening session. Duplicating his result from the morning, Armstrong was the fastest of the four rookies in 10th.

IndyCar’s 2023 Rookie class (from left to right) Agustin Canapin (Juncos Hollinger Racing, Benjamin Pedersen (A.J. Foyt Racing), Sting Ray Robb (Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing0 and Marcus Armstrong (Chip Ganassi Racing)-Image By James Black/INDYCAR

Up Next

Friday will see the field on track for two session at identical times from Thursday (9 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m.) will have live timing and scoring. Keep an eye on’s social media for updates and other news on the 2023 season.

Header Image By James Black/INDYCAR


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