By Steve Wittich
For the second straight Indy Lights session, it was a driver from Brian Berardi’s three-car stable that led a practice session at the 3.4-mile, 11-Turn Watkins Glen International road course. Aaron Telitz, who won the first race of the year in St. Petersburg, Fla., was the quickest driver, with a lap at 93.237 seconds.
He was followed in the top five by Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport), Nico Jamin (Andretti Autosport), yesterday’s quickest driver Shelby Blackstock (Belardi Auto Racing), and Neil Alberico (Carlin).
The second Indy Lights practice of the “Soul Red Finale” weekend at Watkins Glen International began with a cool ambient temperature of 49F and the track temperature at only 56F.
The cool temperatures immediately caused problems when Santiago Urrutia, Zachary Claman DeMelo, and Nicolas Dapero all spun on their first flying laps, bringing out the first red flag of the half-hour session.
The second red flag came out not long after the track to green when the distinctive yellow and black Team Pelfrey No. 2 made moderate contact with the ARMCO barrier entering the Heel of the Boot (Turn 8). Driver Juan Piedrahita locked up the front tires entering the uphill right-hander, forcing the left front tire into the grass, and pitching the Mazda powered Dallara straight left into the barrier. The car suffered damage to the nose and left front corner.
The top five when the track went back to green with 15 of the 30 scheduled minutes left were: Blackstock, Telitz, Jamin, Santiago Urrutia, and Dalton Kellett.
The 13 remaining entries – Garth Rickards and the No. 11 Carlin car have been forced to the sidelines after damaging the tub on the curbing in yesterday’s first practice – tip-toed around the slick track as they got the proper amount of heat in their Cooper Tire slicks.
Herta and Urrutia both told IndyCar radio that the track was really slick this morning.
Most drivers set their quickest lap of the final Indy Lights practice of the season in their final laps as their Coopers took heat, and the track took on more rubber.
Mazda Indy Lights Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires practice #2 results:
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||QUICK LAP||DIFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|10||13||Zachary Claman De Melo||1:34.775||1.5390||10|
|14||11||Garth Rickards||No Time||—||—|
Indy Lights are back on track for qualifying at 2:15pm this afternoon.