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INDYCAR NEWS 

Rookies cleared for Indianapolis 500

Carlos Huertas, Dale Coyne, Indianapolis 2014

Four drivers completed their mandatory Rookie Orientation Programme at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Monday ahead of next week's first practice sessions for the Indy 500.

Mikhail Aleshin, Jack Hawksworth, Carlos Huertas and Martin Plowman all successfully completed the three speed phases required by IndyCar.

"Being on the oval is weird to start with because everything is so different," said Huertas, who has contested the opening street/road course rounds with Dale Coyne Racing but is yet to commit for any oval events after Indy.

"I think the speed was OK. I was just working on the lines and understanding what to do. Everything is very new, but I think I did OK."

Aleshin, who will also make the first oval start of his career at the Brickyard, said that he felt more comfortable as the required speeds increased.

"It was actually harder for me to go slower [in Phase 1] because you had to lift and I don't like to lift," said the Russian.

"This is so important and it's all set now for working with the car in practice for the Indy 500.

"This will be the first oval race in my career and how awesome is it that it will be the Indy 500?"

Ganassi's Sage Karam also participated but was unable to complete all of the required phases due to a mechanical problem.

The reigning Indy Lights champion will be permitted to complete the third phase when official practice begins on May 11.

NASCAR star Kurt Busch was also on track for Andretti Autosport, completing another 114 laps as he continued his preparations for his Indy 500 and IndyCar debut.

He was fastest on Monday, topping out with a best average of 222.289mph.

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