The Road to Indy/Cooper Tires/Construction Contractors Club sponsored No. 28 of Kyle Kirkwood navigates “The Corkscrew” at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Championship leader Kyle Kirkwood, who has won all of his Road To Indy appearances at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, led the final Indy Lights practice session of the 2021 season, turning a lap timed at 72.2884 seconds.
The 22-year-old also led the lone practice session before winning both races at the same circuit in July.
The second championship contender, HMD Motorsports veteran David Malukas had the fifth quickest lap, over six-tenths of a second behind Kirkwood.
The Juncos Hollinger Racing duo of Sting Ray Robb and Rasmus Lindh was a welcome addition to the pointy end of the grid during practice, with the pair within three-tenths of a second of the leader.
Also in the top five was Global Racing Group w/HMD rookie Benjamin Pedersen, who is riding a streak of six straight top-five finishes.
The 45-minutes of practice in preparation for the VP Racing Fuels Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires got the green flag at 3 pm. There were zero clouds in the sky, and the ambient temperature was a comfortable 70F.
Each entry received four sets of sticker Cooper Tire slicks for the weekend and one carryover set from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, to be utilized during the first practice session.
The majority of the drivers spent all but a few laps of the session on the carryover tires, moving to slicks to end the session.
It didn’t take long for the championship contenders Kirkwood and Malukas to move to the top of the timing screens, with the Road to Indy/Cooper Tires/Construction Contractors Club Dallara No. 28 of Kirkwood leading Malukas, Robb, Pederson, and Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport) in the top five.
The Sekady Capital/Goodheart-Firehouse Animal Centers sponsored No. 2 of Robb was a welcome addition to the pointy end of the grid for the entire 45-minute practice.
Late in the session, the reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion was joined by his Juncos Hollinger Racing teammate Lindh near the top of the timing screens.
The 12 drivers completed 276 circuits of the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course.

VP Racing Fuels Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires  practice #1 results 

1 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:12.2884 —— 23
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:12.4807 0.1923 24
3 51 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:12.6006 0.3122 24
4 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:12.7907 0.5023 22
5 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:12.9037 0.6153 24
6 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:12.9169 0.6285 25
7 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:13.1207 0.8323 26
8 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:13.1474 0.8590 25
9 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:13.2307 0.9423 24
10 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:13.4633 1.1749 19
11 59 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 1:13.6704 1.3820 24
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing 1:13.8133 1.5249 16

In case you missed our finale preview, you can read it here –>

Preview – Indy Lights – VP Racing Fuels Championship Weekend Presented by Cooper Tires

The remainder of the weekend’s Indy Lights schedule is as follows:

Saturday, October 2

  • 9:25am – 10:05am – Indy Lights Qualifying #1
  • 1pm – 1:50pm – Indy Lights Race #1

Saturday, October 3

  • 8:45am – 9:15am – Indy Lights Qualifying #2
  • noon – 12:50pm – Indy Lights Race #2

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