12 Oct 2023

Marcus Armstrong drives The Brickyard

11:50 am on 12 October 2023
Marcus Armstrong

Marcus Armstrong Photo: Chip Gannassi Racing

Marcus Armstrong is the latest New Zealand driver to experience one of the greatest circuits in motor racing.

Armstrong has completed an orientation programme at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to became eligible to participate in next year's 108th Indianapolis 500.

The 23-year-old from Christchurch drove street and road courses in his debut Indycars season with the Chip Ganassi team this year.

Last month he signed a multi-year full-time contract with the team which also features fellow New Zealand and six-time Indycars series champion Scott Dixon.

The rookie orientation programme consists of three speed phases on the 4km oval with Armstrong eventually reaching a speed of 353km/h.

Armstrong competed in 12 road and street-course events in 2023 on his way to claiming the Indycars Rookie of the Year title.

"I've enjoyed it a whole lot more than I expected," Armstrong said.

"I'm not saying I didn't expect to enjoy it, but I think the intensity of it is pretty special and watching (in-car) onboards and on TV is one thing, but actually feeling how the car moves and how the wind affects you and the tiny details of this place has kind of given me so much enjoyment."

Englishman Tom Blomqvist and Swede Linus Lundqvist also completed the orientation programme today.

Dixon and Scott McLaughlin are the New Zealanders to have driven the Indy 500 in recent years, with Dixon winning in 2008.