By Steve Wittich
Colton Herta held the provisional pole for the final four minutes of qualifying, apparently making it look easy, but, it was anything but. Herta turned his quickest lap of 65.045 seconds just pipping Santiago Urrutia, who best lap was only two-hundredths behind the second generation American driver. Herta went quicker on three consecutive laps, and it was a good thing that he did, as Urrutia did the exact same thing, inching hundredths closer to the pole.
Herta’s best lap is a new track record. Topping Kyle Kaiser’s Saturday pole time of 65.3511 seconds.
This will be the fifth time that Herta will start on pole this season, and the sixth time that an Andretti Autosport backed entry starts on the inside of the front row.
Saturday’s race winner, and current points leader Kaiser will start directly behind Herta in the third spot, and will be joined on the second row by Nico Jamin
The second Indy Lights qualifying session of the weekend began the final day of the Honda Indy Toronto bright and early at 9am. The session began under perfect blue Canadian skies with the temperature a comfortable 22C (71F)
The first ten minutes of the session saw most drivers turning laps on used Cooper Tires, but that doesn’t mean that the drivers weren’t pushing hard. Kaiser had a big lock-up getting slowed up for Turn 3, Herta missed Turn 3 and used the run-off to get the No. 98 Deltro Energy Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing turned around, Carlin’s Matheus Leist went through the run-off in Turn 1 and reigning Pro Mazda Champion Aaron Telitz tapped the wall with his Mazda sponsored Soul Red No. 9 from the Belardi Auto Racing stable.
Herta was the quickest of the 14 enters for the first 10 minutes of the session, until yesterday’s second place finisher Urrutia knocked him off provisional pole.
When the second half of the half-hour session began it was the Belardi Auto Racing twosome of Santiago Urrutia and Shelby Blackstock that topped the charts. Colton Herta, Neil Alberico, and Kaiser were the remainder of the top five, and also the only driver within a second of provisional pole-sitter Urrutia.
At just past the half-way point, the red flag came out when Ryan Norman and his black and orange No. 48 Andretti Autosport tagged the concrete in Turn 2. The rookie had just turned his quickest lap of the session, but the Andretti Autosport crew will have some work to do to get the car ready for race #2.
The green flag came back out to resume the qualifying session with eight minutes left, and a bakers dozen turbo-charged Mazda 2.0L engines were spooled up for one last pole shootout.
Neil Alberico tagged the wall with his familiar Carlin blue No. 22 in Turn 8. The Rising Star Racing backed Californian told IndyCar Radio that he just pushed too hard.
The second and final Indy Lights race rolls off at 12:15pm.
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Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products Qualifying #2 Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||QUICKEST LAP|
|5||13||Zachary Claman De Melo||1:05.632|