Back in September, IndyCar announced that the long wait was over, and that America’s top open-wheel racing would come to Circuit of the Americas. Just over a month later, a couple teams took part in a quick tire test around the 3.4-mile course for the first time, and our appetites only got wetter.

Last week, IndyCar was back in Austin doing a spring training of sorts, and it opened up the experience to fans who bought a ticket to the race event.

With a field full of drivers who have never driven around COTA in anger, lap times quickly started dropping as soon as some heat got put into the track, and cars started to find their groove.

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Sure, the inevitable comparisons between F1 lap times and the IndyCar entrants came up, but we’ll see just how fast the newcomers do in a few weeks. IndyCar opens its season March 10 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and then comes back to Texas two weeks later.

I was on the ground for the action in Austin, and brought along some camera gear, so that you all can enjoy shots of the IndyCar samplings on track. Take in a big ol’ Texas-sized stack of pictures to hold you over until the race.

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I couldn’t see if he had his phone or not.

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