The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire drivers and teams took to the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval for the first of two hour-and-a-half test sessions in preparation for the 15th edition of the Freedom 100 at 10 a.m.
The session began when all entries were allowed to make one install lap before the track opened up for a half-hour rookies only session. The quickest driver was Andretti Autosport rookie Colton Herta, who was turning laps in the 197mph range.
The yellow lights flashed on at almost exactly the halfway point of the session. Herta had upped his quickest lap speed to 198.069mph, and was followed closely by a trio of veterans in Zachary Claman DeMelo (Carlin), Juan Piedrahita (Team Pelfrey) and Santiago Urrutia (Belardi Auto Racing). Urrutia’s Belardi Auto Racing teammate Aaron Telitz rounded out the top five at the half-way point.
The majority of the laps in the second-half of the session had drivers trying to find traffic to learn more about how their turbo-charged Mazda powered Dallara IL-15s would behave in traffic.
With just over 30 minutes left in the session, Herta was the first driver to turn a lap over 200mph, when he went 200.070mph while running in traffic. The second generation driver ended up being the only driver north of ended up being the fastest lap of the session.
The last 15 minutes of practice had a large group seven or eight cars form up to simulate race running.
Near the end of the session, a number of drivers put on a fresh set of Cooper Tire slicks and made qualifying simulations. One of those was Andretti Autosport rookie Nico Jamin, who despite having only the 13th fastest lap overall, had the fastest no-tow lap at 196.277mph.
Carlin teammate Leist (196.116mph), and Claman De Mello (195.861mph) had the second and third quickest no-tow laps.
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire test session #1 overall time sheet
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||QUICK LAP||LAPS TURNED|
|6||13||Zachary Claman De Melo||198.302||23|
The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire drivers will be back on track from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.