Lundqvist lead Global Racing Group/HMD Motorsports trio in first Indy Lights test session

Linus Lundqvist (Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports) lead the first official Indy Lights session in over a year during spring training at Barber Motorsports Park (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

By Steve Wittich

The gang at HMD Motorsports and Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports began the 2021 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season on a high note, capturing the top three spots in the first test session.

Leading the way was 2020 Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered By Honda scholarship winner Linus Lundqvist, whose lap at 72.3855 seconds was just below the six-year-old track record set by Spencer Pigot in a 2015 qualifying session.

Within two-tenths of a second were his teammates David Malukas and Benjamin Pedersen. Rounding out the top five were Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) and Carlin newcomer Alex Peroni.

The first official track activity for the top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires got underway under bright blue skies and comfortable temperatures. A perfect spring Alabama day.

By the time the session was only 15-minutes old, every driver had turned at least one lap and two drivers – Malukas and Lundqvist – were already below the race track record set in 2015.

With 30 of the 120 minutes in the first session expired, Malukas’ lap at 73.0321 seconds held the top spot. Only 0.0182 seconds behind the HMD Motorsports sophomore was Lundqvist. Sowery, Peroni, and Pedersen were the rest of the top five and were all within a half-second of the No. 79 IL-15 of Malukas.

Malukas was the first driver to turn a lap under 73 seconds and was quickly joined again by Lundqvist in the 72-second bracket.

At the halfway point of the morning session, Malukas was still in the top spot with a lap at 72.6147 seconds. He was followed by Lundqvist, Pedersen, Peroni, and Kirkwood.

With just over 40 minutes remaining in the session, Lundqvist turned his quickest lap of the session. It was his 38th lap and was a thousandth-of-a-second under the rack record.

With 90 of 120 minutes complete, the top five were Lundqvist, Malukas, Pedersen, Megennis and DeFrancesco

The session came to an end five minutes early, when the red and checkered flag came out for an incident involving Kirkwood, the sand, the grass, and a guardrail in the Alabama Roller Coaster. (Turn 3)

The 2019 Indy Pro 2000 champion had just completed his 44th lap of the session, which was also his quickest of the day.

Kyle Kirkwood’s damaged No. 28 Andretti Autosport IL-15 returns to the Indy Lights paddock on the hook (Photo Courtesy of on-site spy)

The baker’s dozen drivers completed 517 circuits of the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course.

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires spring training test session #1 timesheet

1 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:12.3855 0.000 42
2 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:12.5646 0.1791 33
3 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports 1:12.5748 0.1893 47
4 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:12.9666 0.5811 44
5 5 Alex Peroni Carlin 1:13.0953 0.7098 39
6 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:13.1755 0.7900 37
7 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:13.2237 0.8382 38
8 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing 1:13.3628 0.9773 32
9 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:13.3665 0.9810 39
10 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:13.6757 1.2902 33
11 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports 1:13.8460 1.4605 44
12 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:14.1194 1.7339 44
13 11 Antonio Serrevalle Pserra Racing 1:14.1612 1.7757 45

Don’t miss any of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires action:

A note about our presenting sponsor. 

Once again, a huge thank you to Cooper Tires for coming back to be the presenting sponsor of TSO Ladder for the fourth season. Without them, we would not be able to bring you our extensive Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires coverage. If you require tires, I highly recommend them. Our family has the Discover ® AT3 4S  on our SUV and CS5 Grand Touringon our car.

Cooper Tires 2021 Spring Promotion runs through April 12 and has some great bargains. Click here to learn more and find out where to purchase your Coopers.