By Patrick Stephan (@TSO_Patrick)
The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires session ran clean and we got a slight surprise up front as Pato O’Ward outran the 15 car field with a best lap of 1:08.381 seconds around the 1.8 mile, 14 turn circuit. Note that we will be watching for any sort of track length changes based on the slight reconfig of Turn 3 last night. That could alter the measured length, but we probably won’t hear anything of that (and it would be slight) after the Verizon IndyCar Series session. They often utilize the actual car telemetry data before making changes like that and it’s usually easier for INDYCAR (the sanctioning body for the MRTI) to get that from the Verizon IndyCar Series.
That said, it doesn’t “really” matter except to do some year over year comparisons.
O’Ward was the runner-up in ProMazda last year and is staying with Team Pelfrey for the move to Lights this season. Urrutia finished second in Lights last season, and the 20 year old is looking to lock up the $1million prize this year and make the move up to the “big cars” in 2018.
Third quick was Colton Herta, 16, with Andretti Steinbrenner Racing. This remains an interesting combo to me. I actually met George Steinbrenner, IV last year at Watkins Glen – where he was a guest of Andretti and Herta. Nice guy (kid really, he’s only 20), and very interested in auto racing.
|1||3||Pato O’Ward||1:08.381||0.000||22||19||Team Pelfrey|
|2||5||Santi Urrutia||1:08.405||0.0243||22||21||Belardi Auto Racing|
|3||98||Colton Herta||1:08.417||0.0361||22||19||Andretti Steinbrenner Racing|
|4||27||Nico Jamin||1:08.709||0.3288||21||17||Andretti Autosport|
|5||28||Dalton Kellett||1:08.714||0.3338||21||18||Andretti Autosport|
|6||2||Juan Piedrahita||1:08.764||0.3830||24||24||Team Pelfrey|
|7||51||Shelby Blackstock||1:08.886||0.5050||23||22||Belardi Auto Racing|
|8||18||Kyle Kaiser||1:08.888||0.5072||23||20||Juncos Racing|
|9||9||Aaron Telitz||1:08.949||0.5686||22||15||Belardi Auto Racing|
|12||13||Zachary Claman De Melo||1:09.097||0.7163||21||17||Carlin|
|13||48||Ryan Norman||1:09.346||0.9656||22||22||Andretti Autosport|
|14||31||Nicolas Dapero||1:09.633||1.2529||23||23||Juncos Racing|