By Steve Wittich
Andretti Autosport veteran Ryan Norman began the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires session the same way he ended pre-season testing. As the fastest driver.
The 20-year-old was the only driver to turn a lap of under 66 seconds topping his Andretti Autosport Oliver Askew by just over a tenth of a second.
The first official Indy Lights session of the 2019 season began on time under bright blue skies and comfortable temperatures.
The ten entries compete for a three-race NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that includes a shot at qualifying for the Indianapolis 500.
The entire 45-minute session was run under green flag conditions, and the drivers were able to complete 287 total laps. Rookies Oliver Askew and Lucas Kohl each made 32 circuits, the most of any driver.
Veteran Belardi Auto Racing pilot Zachary Claman, who is back in Indy Lights after a stint in the NTT IndyCar Series last year was the quickest driver one-third of the way through the session. The Canadian was joined in the top five by David Malukas (BN Racing), Askew, Toby Sowery (BN Racing/Team Pelfrey) and Norman.
Claman remained on top of the timing screens at the two-thirds point of the session with Belardi Auto Racing rookie Julien Falchero replacing Sowery in the top five.
The top eight drivers were all within one second of Norman, with six of them within a half-second.
Indy Lights Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires Practice 1 Timesheet
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||48||Ryan Norman||Andretti Autosport||1:05.966||–.—-||30|
|2||28||Oliver Askew||Andretti Autosport||1:06.106||0.1393||32|
|3||13||Zachary Claman||Belardi Auto Racing||1:06.323||0.3566||28|
|4||79||David Malukas||BN Racing||1:06.463||0.4968||27|
|5||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||1:06.469||0.5030||31|
|6||2||Toby Sowery||BN Racing/Team Pelfrey||1:06.518||0.5518||27|
|7||21||Rinus VeeKay||Juncos Racing||1:06.726||0.7599||22|
|8||4||Julien Falchero||Belardi Auto Racing||1:06.792||0.8260||29|
|9||67||Dalton Kellett||Juncos Racing||1:07.507||1.5404||29|
|10||5||Lucas Kohl||Belardi Auto Racing||1:08.004||2.0380||32|