By Steve Wittich

Santi Urrutia will be making his fifth and sixth Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, and it only took the double Indy Lights vice-champion eight laps to go to the top of the timesheet.

The lone 45-minute Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires practice session began immediately after the first Verizon IndyCar Series practice of the day at 12:15 pm. There was not a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was a comfortable 64F.

Reigning Pro Mazda Presented By Cooper Tire champion Victor Franzoni was the first driver to top the session, but was quickly topped by Aaron Telitz, and then Colton Herta.

Current championship leader Urrutia spent the early portion of the session sitting on pit road. The No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing team did not have a set of tires that they could carry over from the season-opening event in St. Petersburg, Fla.

One-third of the way through the session and the top five drivers were: Herta, Telitz, Victor Franzoni, Patricio O’Ward and Ryan Norman.

With just under 30 minutes left in the session, Urrutia finally took to the track, and it only took four laps for the Uruguayan to jump to the top of the timesheet.

Urrutia, Herta, Telitz, O’Ward, and Franzoni were the five quickest drivers at the two-thirds point of the 45-minute practice.

Celis, who missed the first race weekend of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla. is making his Indy Lights debut at Barber Motorsports Park. The former F1 test driver was only able to spend one-day testing but didn’t take long to get up to speed. The Mexican finished the session within 1.2 seconds of session leader Urrutia.

The top five drivers were within a half-second of Urrutia, and the eight drivers were all within 1.2 seconds of the top of the timesheet.

The teams may each set four sets of sticker Cooper Tire slicks for the Mazda Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader, and are allowed to use one set of carry over tires from a previous event during the first practice session. The carry over tires needs to be turned in immediately after the first practice.

Mazda Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires Practice #1 Timesheet

1 5 Santi Urrutia 1:14.525 –.—- 8
2 98 Colton Herta 1:14.609 0.0835 23
3 9 Aaron Telitz 1:14.721 0.1953 23
4 27 Pato O’Ward 1:14.924 0.3986 18
5 23 Victor Franzoni 1:14.987 0.4611 21
6 28 Dalton Kellett 1:15.219 0.6934 24
7 48 Ryan Norman 1:15.254 0.7287 24
8 7 Alfonso Celis 1:15.741 1.2158 24