It’s going to be a weekend of “study” for Kiwi IndyCar rookie Marcus Armstrong at the Indianapolis 500.
The 22-year-old is only racing road and street events this season, so won’t be on the grid come Monday morning (NZ time).
But Armstrong is itching to drive oval circuits, and wants to be ready when the time comes.
At the Indy 500 the party is just getting started. But aside from the beers, and the ‘bare chests’, there’s some serious business looming.
Saturday (NZ time) was a chance for the fans to meet drivers, including Armstrong.
The Cantabrian is fresh to IndyCar after leaving the Formula Two series at the end of last year.
He’s now the leading rookie, even nabbing a top-10 finish at Long Beach last month.
And the new car? He describes it as an “animal”.
“You have to really drive it with intent,” he told Newshub. “In Europe, you’re limited by the tyre.
“Here, you’re limited by how much you want to slide.”
In his first season, Armstrong will only drive road and street events. That rules out of the Indy500 but he’ll be taking notes from the sideline.
“There’s a lot that goes into winning the race on Sunday,” he continued. “There’s a lot of variables involved.
“So seeing how they handled it, and how they approach every situation is going to be helpful for me in the future.”
He doesn’t have to look far for inspiration here in Indiana either, Kiwi legend Scott Dixon is his Chip Ganassi teammate.
“He’s doing fantastically well,” Dixon told Newshub of Armstrong.”He’s had some really strong races, even right out the gate.
“It’s great to have him here, and hopefully he’s able to stick around for a while.”
That feeling is mutual.
“I get to ask him questions directly,” Armstrong said of Dixon. “He’s very upfront and honest. So I feel like he has helped me a lot.”
While Armstrong is disappointed he’s not racing this weekend, he will get to watch with everyone else.
And officials are expecting a huge crowd, last year 325,000 people turned up to race day.
“It’s about family and fun – and tearing it up,” one excited fan told Newshub.
And the racing of course.