Armstrong, Blomqvist and Lundqvist complete Rookie Orientation Program at IMS

Spread the love

The Rookie Orientation Program has been completed by Marcus Armstrong, Tom Blomqvist and Linus Lundqvist ahead of next year’s Indy 500.

All three rookies are now eligible to take part in qualifying for the 108th Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Armstrong was the first car to join the circuit at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Chip Ganassi Racing and circulated at around 200mph for the opening few laps.

Blomqvist and Chip Ganassi’s Lundqvist comfortably passed Phase 1 of the program by completing 10 laps at 205-210mph and 16 in total.

New Zealander Armstrong followed his two fellow rookies and passed the first section at IMS.

Marcus Armstrong's green number 11 Chip Ganassi car on track at IMS
Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | James Black

Phase 2 required 15 laps at 210-215mph as the rookies neared completing the Rookie Orientation Program.

Lundqvist was the first to complete the second phase, setting 35 laps with a best time of 215.337mph. The Swede shortly caused the first yellow flag of the ROP as his number 8 Ganassi suffered a mechanical issue.

Armstrong and Meyer Shank Racing’s Blomqvist quickly emulated Lundqvist in getting Phase 2 completed as the trio stormed through the program.

Lundqvist was the first to finish ROP with four hours of running left; he ran 53 laps in the morning session with a fastest speed of 219.504mph despite causing a yellow flag earlier in the day.

The British driver Blomqvist gained eligibility to qualify for next year’s Indy 500 by achieving 15 laps at 215mph in Phase 3.

Photo credit: Penske Entertainment | James Black

Armstrong then completed the program, and all three rookies can now attempt to qualify for the Indy 500 in May of 2024.

The afternoon session will allow drivers to acclimate even more to the infamous 2.5-mile circuit at Indianapolis.

2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson will set out to achieve his Rookie Orientation Program in the number 17 McLaren Hendrick tomorrow, ahead of his long-awaited IndyCar debut at the 108th Running of his Indy 500 in May 2024 should he pass the ROP and qualify for the race.

The American driver will be a one-off entry and drive McLaren’s fourth car alongside the team’s three full-time entrants, Pato O’Ward, Alexander Rossi and David Malukas.