By Steve Wittich

Championship points leader Anthony Martin started the lone oval weekend of the 2017 Pro Mazda season on the front foot, after a lap of 140.964mph. The Australian was followed closely by Victor Franzoni, Carlos Cunha, Nikita Lastochkin, and TJ Fischer.

The lone 45-minute Pro Mazda practice session was only a few minutes old when the yellow flag came out for Juncos Racing’s Jeff Green, who spun and made just the slightest contact with the SAFER Barrier in Turn 4. The No. 60 was able to get back on track, turning the 6th quickest lap, and a total of 57 laps.

At the half-way point of session, Franzoni’s lap at 139.598mph was the quickest, and was followed by Martin, Cunha, Fischer and Lastochkin.

Not long after, Martin jumped to the top of the time-sheet with the first lap over 140mph, and the two championship front-runners traded quickest laps three times before Martin turned in his quickest lap in the final five minutes of the session.

The nine entries turned a total of 473 laps. Bobby Eberle turned 66 laps, the most of any driver.

St. Louis Pro Mazda Oval Challenge Presented by Cooper Tires practice results.

1 8 Anthony Martin 140.964 51
2 23 Victor Franzoni 140.797 46
3 81 Carlos Cunha 138.192 51
4 80 Nikita Lastochkin 137.257 48
5 82 TJ Fischer 137.175 46
6 60 Jeff Green 136.023 57
7 14 Sting Ray Robb 134.961 50
8 31 Brendan Puderbach 133.535 58
9 13 Bobby Eberle 132.031 66

The second rung of the Mazda Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tire will qualify at 1:45pm, and race at 4:55pm on Sunday.

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