By Steve Wittich
For the 10th time in the last 11 years, the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires season will come to a close at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test. The season-ending test, named after the late Chris Griffis, a well-loved Schmidt Motorsports Indy Light team manager, will take to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the eighth year. The test was held at Barber Motorsports Park in 2013 and Circuit of The Americas in 2015.
The three days of testing will take place October 29-31 and, for the first time, will include all for rungs of the Road To Indy ladder.
The first day of on-track action, Friday, October 29, is a newly added NTT INDYCAR SERIES test for the top-three finishers in the 2021 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship. The 2020 Indy Pro 2000 champion, Sting Ray Robb, will also be awarded an NTT INDYCAR SERIES test if he does not finish in the top three of the Indy Lights championship.
“The ‘scouting combine’ experience, similar to other sports, will be an incredible opportunity for their great work and achievement from the 2021 season,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said. “From the engineer meetings to the test session on the track to the team debrief afterward, it’ll run the gamut. A ‘let’s see where you are’ type of test with NTT INDYCAR SERIES teams participating and observing.”
The USF2000, Indy Pro 2000, and Indy Lights drivers will spend Saturday, October 30, and Sunday, October 31, preparing for the 2022 season.
“As competitors continue to evaluate their plans for next season, we want to emphasize our commitment to assisting drivers in climbing our Road to Indy ladder to reach the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “We are extremely excited to work with INDYCAR to offer our top-three Indy Lights drivers an opportunity to test an Indy car, and to offer our reigning champions and 2021 champions in the junior series a chance to take the next step in their careers.
“The Chris Griffis test has always been one of my favorites. While it is exciting to see the new talent coming into our paddock, it is also especially rewarding to watch our current drivers move up and to hear their comments after first outings in the next level car.
“I also want to thank the Speedway for working with us to accommodate this event in a very busy month of October for them.”
The prize packages for all three Road To Indy series is increasing for the 2021 season. The Indy Lights champion will be awarded a scholarship with a value of $1,289,425. Part of the Indy Lights champion’s award is guaranteed entry into three NTT INDYCAR SERIES, including the 105th Indianapolis 500.
Awards for the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and USF2000 champions increased to $718,065 and $401,305. Those champions will also receive a test in Indy Pro 2000 and Indy Lights at the Chris Griffis Memorial Test.
All three series are busy with private team testing, with official testing kicking off at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 22, 2021, and the first races of the 2021 season taking place on the St. Petersburg Fla. street course beginning on March 5, 2021.