By Steve Wittich
For the fifth time in 2018, Patricio O’Ward will lead an Indy Lights race to the green flag, after turning in a flyer that was an impressive 0.4714 seconds ahead of race #1 pole sitter Victor Franzoni. It’s the Mexican drivers 10th career Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires pole.
“We made some changes after yesterday,” said O’Ward to the ADVANCE Auto Parts Radio Network. “We thought things were good but weren’t. There’s a big difference in a race car versus a qualifying car. We got down to work.
“We worked really hard on our race car since the test. We didn’t have great pace there. I don’t want that to happen again. The good thing is here it’s not hard to pass. It’s an interesting one. We are going to be fast.”
Franzoni, Santi Urrutia, and Colton Herta set lap times that were only a tenth-of-a-second apart.
With the lingering smell of overnight campfires and a rising sun casting shadows on the tree-lined 4.014-mile, 14-turn Road America natural terrain road course the top rung of the American open-wheel ladder began their second qualifying session of the weekend.
With an ambient temperature of 60 F and the track temperature of 64F, getting your Cooper Tire slicks up to temperature was key.
All seven drivers were on the track during the first 15 minutes, with Franzoni, Herta, Urrutia, and O’Ward all holding the provisional pole position.
At just before the half-way point of the session all drivers were on pit road to make adjustments and get a set of sticker Cooper Tires.
At the halfway point, the running order was: O’Ward, Urrutia, Herta, Aaron Telitz, Franzoni, Ryan Norman, Dalton Kellett.
During yesterday’s qualifying session, the track had more grip than expected and the teams that found the right combination of springs stiffness and downforce were the quickest.
With 10 minutes left in the session, O’Ward improved on his provisional pole lap to 113.6549 seconds.
After two laps to get their tires up to temperature, Colton Herta was the first driver to grab take the provisional pole in the final five minutes. Franzoni was the next driver to grab the provisional pole but eventually lost it to O’Ward.
Provisional Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Race #2 qualifying results
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