Five of the seven Challengers racing here have never flown the Indianapolis track. Today was their first taste and they were suitably impressed. Here's what they all thought of their first Free Practice session...
"I haven't been feeling great since I've been here, the jetlag has hit me. So it's been difficult, but the best part was by the third run I was feeling the best I've felt all day, so pulling G helps! I like the track, it's a good variation, but I think I can learn a lot from today's flying. The most important thing was I flew safely and I'm feeling better."
"We were waiting a long time for the weather to change, but I was happy to eventually fly. I think the track is not difficult, but there are tricky parts between gates, especially the VTM. And everything is close together which makes it very interesting. I now need to think about the line. And hopefully I will fly tomorrow without any mistakes."
"I was last in the track in Budapest, but I enjoyed today a lot. I wasn't doing too well here last year, but today I had no major mistakes and no penalties, so I am quite happy. Step by step..."
"It feels pretty good to be out there, the times were pretty good. I'm a little off the pace, but not a whole lot, so we'll get that figured out and I should be good. We'll get another practice tomorrow and qualify well ready for the Race on Sunday. Being at the IMS is a huge deal for me being American so I hope I can perform well."
"It was good out there today, I think I trimmed it a bit nose heavy after my over-G so I've got a bit of arm pump. It's quite a different track, there's a lot of up and down. You come into the track level, and then it goes down, before you come up for the first chicane and then downhill for the other two. And then you have to climb, which is weird. It was a long day waiting, so it was nice to get into the track. It's the waiting that plays with the mind and you start going through things in your head, but it doesn't materialise until you go in the track."
"For me it's a huge emotion. I'm a fan of motorsport and just landing here gave me goosebumps, it's just so cool. And I love this track and flying in it is just beautiful. I've been watching the guys flying this track for years and it was good to fly it. I feel good and I just need to check my flights. As we flew both sessions together there was no time to analyse any data, but I like the track a lot."
"It's my first time flying here in Indianapolis and it's very impressive. It's a very small track and you can hear the planes no matter where you are at the Race Airport, it's more than expected. It's funny to fly that slow at the beginning so I need to watch that especially in this humidity. It's work and I need to go step by step, but I'm pretty sure it'll work, I love this track."
Tomorrow the Challengers have their last Free Practice session before Qualifying, you can follow all the action HERE.