By Steve Wittich
Oliver Askew, who took the pole for race #1 yesterday afternoon, wasn’t satisfied with his lap time. The 22-year-old was the only driver to get into the 70-second range. His lap at 70.808 seconds broke that track record of Santi Urrutia from 2016 by one-tenth of a second.
After the session, Askew told Katie Hargitt that he had been studying Colton (Herta) and Patricio’s (O’Ward) data from last year, and he finally pipped them.
Askew makes it three for three, with all of the Road To Indy series race #1 pole sitters repeating the feat for race #2.
After having an issue in qualifying yesterday and only turning in the sixth-best lap, VeeKay recovered and will start beside his championship rival on the front row.
For the second straight qualifying session, it was Toby Sowery that ended up with the third quickest lap.
The second Indy Lights qualifying session of the weekend began promptly at 9:45 am. The ambient temperature was already 77F, and the track temperature was 84F.
With 10 minutes gone in the session, VeeKay held the provisional pole.
At the half-way point of the second session, VeeKay held the provisional pole with a lap at 71.5007 seconds. The Andretti Autosport trio of Megennis, Norman and Askew were the next three drivers on the timing screen, all within two-tenths of a second of VeeKay.
All nine drivers were on pit-road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.
With one-third of the 30-minute qualifying session, Megennis was the first driver to get back on the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course.
It took three laps to get the Coopers up to the optimal operating temperature, but with just over four minutes remaining, Askew turned his fastest lap of the session at 71.4248 seconds.
Megennis jumped to the provisional pole, but that didn’t last long before Askew became the first driver to break into the 70-second range.
For the second straight qualifying session, Aaron Telitz and the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing AER/Dallara IL-15 of brought out a red flag. This morning, the veteran spun in Turn 1, getting stuck in the gravel trap.
That ended the session 30 seconds early, and Telitz lost his fastest lap of the session.
Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio
|RANK||CAR. NO||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||28||Oliver Askew||Andretti Autosport||1:10.808||–.—-|
|2||21||Rinus VeeKay||Juncos Racing||1:11.113||0.3051|
|3||2||Toby Sowery||BN Racing/Team Pelfrey||1:11.297||0.4892|
|4||27||Robert Megennis||Andretti Autosport||1:11.361||0.5534|
|5||67||Dalton Kellett||Juncos Racing||1:11.367||0.5589|
|6||48||Ryan Norman||Andretti Autosport||1:11.388||0.5797|
|7||4||Aaron Telitz||Belardi Auto Racing||1:11.720||0.9118|
|8||79||David Malukas||BN Racing||1:11.883||1.0750|
|9||5||Lucas Kohl||Belardi Auto Racing||1:12.044||1.2362|
The 20-lap or 50-minute Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Race #1 is scheduled to get underway at 1:20 pm.