February 3, 2023
IndyCar’s first full-field open test since 2020 was held at The Thermal Club on February 2-3. The exclusive, luxury, members-only racetrack in Thermal, CA includes premier auto circuits, extraordinary residential offerings, welcoming staff, world-class culinary offerings, outdoor pursuits and wellness programs. This location is new and unique for the IndyCar drivers, and the test was likened to a “preseason scrimmage” by IndyCar president Jay Frye. Drivers seemed to enjoy the ride around the track, which is unlike anything on the current circuit. IndyCar also will hold open tests April 20-21 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and September 7 at Laguna Seca, which will play host to the season finale three days later.
Mark Miles, CEO of Penske Entertainment, said of the open test at The Thermal Club, “Both with our stakeholders and the media that covers IndyCar, we wanted them to know that we are going to do things differently. This is going to be a year when we expect our growth to go to a whole new level. What better way to send that message than to be at a place we have never been that is exceptional? The quality of this place; the facilities are off the charts. The customer service, the welcoming feeling you get from the staff here. The track itself is fast. The drivers are having a great time on it.”
While there are no current plans for The Thermal Club to host an IndyCar race, the Indianapolis Star reported there have been informal talks about having a pro-am event in the future.