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IndyCar will hold three open tests in 2023, starting near Palm Springs, California

IndyCar test Palm Springs

SALINAS, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: Team Penske driver Will Power (12) of Australia leads the pack on the first turn of the race with Meyer Shank Racing driver Hélio Castroneves (06) of Brazil being edged off the track at the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey on Sunday, September 11, 2022 at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. (Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NTT IndyCar Series announced three open test sessions for the 2023 season, starting in the preseason at the Thermal Club near Palm Springs, California, and a stop at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca just before the season finale.

The first test will be held Feb. 2-3 at the 470-acre property in Southern California that is used by club racers and sports car enthusiasts. IndyCar will use the track’s North Palm and South Palm circuits for a 17-turn, 2.9-mile layout.

The 2023 IndyCar season will begin March 5 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida.

“We liken this to a preseason scrimmage,” IndyCar president Jay Frye said in a release about the Thermal test. “The teams will be doing everything it takes to prepare for a run at the 2023 championship at a new and unique backdrop for the NTT IndyCar Series. The facility is spectacular, and I know everyone at The Thermal Club cannot wait to welcome our paddock.”

“For us, it means every IndyCar fan is going to get an inside look at the best cars in the world on what we think is the best track in the world,” The Thermal Club owner John Rogers said in a release. “It’s a wonderful thing, and we’re very happy it’s worked out with IndyCar and Thermal.”

IndyCar also will hold open tests April 20-21 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval and Sept. 7 at Laguna Seca, which will play host to the season finale three days later. The 2.238-mile road course in Monterey, California, is planned for a repave that should be completed by June.

IndyCar’s 17-race schedule will include 15 events on NBC: 13 races (including six of the final seven) plus Indy 500 qualifying May 20-21. There also are three races on USA Network and the Toronto race exclusively on Peacock. All races on NBC and USA also will have live simulstreams on Peacock.