The front row of Frost and Malukas brought the field to the green flag, with Malukas quickly slotting in behind the pole-sitter.
The HMD Trucking sponsored No. 79 popped to the outside of the DAN-JET sponsored No. 68, forcing Frost onto the curbing inside the fast right-hander. That put the Singaporean’s car into a lazy spin and initiated contact with Malukas.
Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport), who started third, also took slight contact with Frost while trying to avoid the spinning cars. Also forced wide but avoiding contact was Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport).
That opened the door for Juncos Racing’s Toby Sowery to duck down the inside to
The surprising running order at the end of the first lap was Sowery, Linus Lundqvist (Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports), Kirkwood, Alex Peroni (Carlin), Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing), Benjamin Pedersen (Global Racing Group w/HMD), Antonio Serravalle (Pserra Racing), Nikita Lastochkin (HMD Motorsports), Christian Bogle (Carlin), Robert Megennis (Andretti Autosport), Malukas, DeFrancesco and Frost.
Frost came to come to pit road for a new front wing and left front tire. Unfortunately, the pole-sitter lost a lap.
DeFrancesco also came to pit road so that the crew could look over the PowerTap No. 17. The Canadian also fell down a lap.
Malukas dropped down to 11th after the incident but was able to recover to seventh place.
On Lap 3, Lundqvist was able to get past Sowery going to the inside of the Juncos Racing veteran before Turn 1. Kirkwood quickly jumped on Sowery, going down the inside in Turn 5.
Kirkwood outbroke Lundqvist into Turn 5, quickly pulling a one-second gap as they completed Lap 5.
On Lap 6, Lundqvist went a little too deep into Turn 6, opening the door for Carlin rookie Peroni, who was now second after starting ninth.
Things finally settled down, with drivers settling into a rhythm to work on keeping as much life as possible in their Cooper Tires.
At the halfway point of the race, Kirkwood’s lead over Peroni was 2.8 seconds.
At the halfway point of the race, the running order was Kirkwood, Peroni, Lundqvist, Pedersen, Sowery, Megennis, Robb, Serravalle, Bogle, Malukas, Lastochkin, DeFrancesco, and Frost.
On the next lap, Peroni had an issue, falling six seconds adrift of Kirkwood. The Aussie was slow on the track and was forced to come to pit road after reporting to the team that he had lost fourth gear.
With five laps remaining, Kirkwood had pulled a 9.1 second lead over Lundqvist, who was starting to face some pressure from his teammate Pedersen.
With three laps remaining, the battle for second and third between the bright orange and black cars from Global Racing Group was joined by Megennis.
On Lap 19, Pedersen used push-to-pass to get beside Lundqvist into the braking zone of Turn 5. The Dane made a brave pass around the outside of Lundqvist in Turn 5, getting the power down at the exit of the 90-degree
Kirkwood took the white flag 10.2 seconds ahead of Pedersen. Behind Pedersen, the tussling wasn’t over.
Megennis got a good run off Turn 3, diving to the inside of Lundqvist in Turn 5. The pair went side-by-side on the run uphill to Turn 6. Megennis had the preferred inside line, solidifying the final spot on the podium.
Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered By AER Race #1 Results
|1||28||Kyle Kirkwood||Andretti Autosport||20 LAPS|
|2||24||Benjamin Pedersen||Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports||-11.0667|
|3||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||-12.4513|
|4||26||Linus Lundqvist||Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports||-13.8048|
|5||51||Toby Sowery||Juncos Racing||-20.8627|
|6||11||Antonio Serravalle||Pserra Racing||-21.8642|
|7||79||David Malukas||HMD Motorsports||-23.5816|
|8||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||-29.8924|
|10||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||-65.0935|
|11||68||Danial Frost||Andretti Autosport||-1 LAP|
|12||59||Nikita Lastochkin||HMD Motorsports||– 5 LAPS|
|13||5||Alex Peroni||Carlin||– 8 LAPS|
The second Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires of the weekend at Road America is set to roll off at 8:50 am on Sunday.