Led by two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato, the NTT IndyCar Series was back on track Wednesday afternoon at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for its first session of offseason testing.
According to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Sato was back in the race-winning chassis from Aug. 23 when he outdueled series champion Scott Dixon to put his face on the Borg-Warner Trophy for the second time.
Dixon, who clinched his sixth title Sunday, was among other drivers who are scheduled to turn laps Friday at IMS after the Indianapolis Star reported that the track had postponed a Thursday session by a day because of inclement weather.
Fellow New Zealand native Scott McLaughlin, who will be a full-time IndyCar rookie next season, was on track Wednesday along with Sato and two-time series champion Josef Newgarden.
The #Indy500 winner is heading out on track to start @IndyCar testing at #IMS for the day. #INDYCAR | @TakumaSatoRacer pic.twitter.com/syEH3lTgk6
— Indianapolis Motor Speedway (@IMS) October 28, 2020
Newgarden and Sato on-track together now. Just over 3 hours of track time left today. pic.twitter.com/q7ByomHdJB
— Nathan Brown (@By_NathanBrown) October 28, 2020
McLaughlin completed his mandatory Rookie Orientation program for next year’s Brickyard, receiving pointers from four-time Indy 500 winner (and longtime Team Penske consultant) Rick Mears.
McLaughlin, a three-time champion on the Australian Supercars series that races road courses, later tweeted that he had passed the test after turning the fastest laps of his life.
Rookie Test Complete – I went the fastest I’ve ever been in my entire life… 1 step closer to the Indy 500 👍🏻🏎 #isitmayyet pic.twitter.com/pt8yzOzxfi
— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin93) October 28, 2020
After some track prep in the morning to dry the 2.5-mile oval, the session began about 90 minutes later than its originally scheduled 11 a.m. start and ended at around 6 p.m. ET.
Trucks, Tahoes and Jet Dryers. We’re getting ready for some @Indycar testing today @IMS! pic.twitter.com/1ww0RHKALm
— J. Douglas Boles (@jdouglas4) October 28, 2020
According to IMS, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ed Carpenter and Pato O’Ward also were expected to make laps on the test’s second day.
IndyCar offseason testing will continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday at the Brickyard.
IMS will open the Turn 2 viewing mounds to fans, who will be admitted free and must wear face coverings and follow social distancing.