By Steve Wittich

Belardi Auto Racing, the team the won the Indy Lights race at Watkins Glen International last year with Zach Veach, has not lost that set-up. Three of the top six spots in the first Indy Lights practice were held by pilots from the Brownsburg, Ind. based squad.

A lap at 92.790 seconds by Shelby Blackstock, who finished sixth in last years race,was the quickest of the session, and was followed by Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing rookie Colton Herta, and Carlin rookie Matheus Leist.

Garth Rickards was the first driver to have an issue when he went on a wild ride through the grass in The Esses. He was able to drive the Luther Sponsored No. 22 from the Carlin stable back to pit road. The Carlin crew was able to make repairs to the rear wing of the car, and Rickards was able to get back on track for the final 15 minutes of practice.

At the half-way point of the session the top five were: Aaron Telitz, Neil Alberico, Zachary Claman DeMelo, Colton Herta, and Santiago Urrutia.

The entire session was run under green flag conditions, and Teltiz’s early flier of 93.092 seconds remained at the top of the time sheet until the final minute of practice, when Blackstock, Herta and Leist were able to bump Telitz’s down to fourth.

A total of seven drivers turned their fastest lap of the session on their final lap, and 11 of the 14 drivers were within one second of Blackstock’s quickest lap.

The 14 drivers were able to complete a total of 276 laps through

Mazda Indy Lights Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires practice # 1 results

1 51 Shelby Blackstock 1:32.790 –.—- 21
2 98 Colton Herta 1:32.996 0.2052 20
3 26 Matheus Leist 1:33.081 0.2903 22
4 9 Aaron Telitz 1:33.092 0.3014 21
5 22 Neil Alberico 1:33.218 0.4278 21
6 5 Santi Urrutia 1:33.301 0.5107 20
7 18 Kyle Kaiser 1:33.321 0.5304 19
8 48 Ryan Norman 1:33.337 0.5465 21
9 13 Zachary Claman De Melo 1:33.514 0.7238 20
10 28 Dalton Kellett 1:33.536 0.7461 19
11 27 Nico Jamin 1:33.683 0.8923 20
12 31 Nicolas Dapero 1:34.073 1.2823 17
13 2 Juan Piedrahita 1:34.279 1.4887 20
14 11 Garth Rickards 1:37.314 4.5235 15

The Indy Lights teams and drivers are back on track for a second practice at 8:45am, and they will qualify at 2:15pm.

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