The NTT IndyCar Series will try a different version of its 75-minute opening practice format in Long Beach this weekend to the one it trialed in St. Petersburg. The idea for the new format was pitched by its drivers during its preseason meetings.

At St. Petersburg, teams were given the first 20 minutes to run as they pleased with the 27 cars in attendance before pitting and after a five-minute pause, the remainder of the session split the field into alternating groups that ran for 10 minutes apiece.

At Long Beach, 45 of the first 75 minutes will be open for the 27 entries to use as desired be fore a five-minute break will separate the field into two groups, where a 13-car cluster will have the track to themselves for 10 minutes before they pit and the other 14 drivers will get 10 minutes of their own to close the day. Rookies are the only exception and will be permitted to run at all times.

“We’re definitely onto something,” A.J. Foyt Racing’s Santino Ferrucci told RACER. “I like the bigger opening session. The second part just needs to be adjusted from track to track, based on the length of the track. We’re doing four to five laps per run, and the laps take around a minute at Long Beach, so I wonder if shorter session towards the end that are more fitted to would be better. Instead of 10 minutes, maybe six minutes so we get more of the split sessions. Or maybe eight minutes. But something shorter that’s more representative of the time we’d need to do a few quali sims.”

With 70 of the 75 minutes accounted for in the revised Friday format, the five leftover minutes have been reserved in the event of a stoppage, which history suggests tends to happen at least once per session.