After a day of NTT INDYCAR SERIES testing on the 10-turn, 1.7-mile circuit Sebring International Raceway “short course,” it was time for the first of two days of team testing in central Florida for a baker’s dozen Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires drivers.
Newly signed Global Racing Group w/ HMD Motorsports veteran Benjamin Pedersen led the way during the first day. The 22-year-old, who had six podiums in his rookie Indy Lights season, set the pace with a lap timed at 56.3564 seconds.
Hunter McElrea (Andretti Autosport) ended his day only one-tenth of a second behind Pedersen in the test, which saw the top six within four-tenths of a second of the top spot.
Drivers representing HMD Motorsports/Global Racing Group and Andretti Autosport split those six spots evenly. Danial Frost and Manuel Sulaiman finished the first of two days with the third and fourth-best times, while Andretti Autosport’s pair of Indy Pro 2000 champions Christian Rasmussen and Sting Ray Robb were fifth and sixth on the unofficial time-sheet.
The 13 drivers completed 1,282 circuits of the track that best simulates a road course, with HMD Motorsports newcomer Ernie Francis, Jr., the busiest of the group. The seven-time Trans-Am Series champion completed 116 laps.
Unofficial times from Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires team testing at Sebring International Raceway
|RANK||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||Benjamin Pedersen||Global Racing Group w/ HMD Motorsports||56.3564||104|
|2||Hunter McElrea||Andretti Autosport||56.4893||-0.1329||91|
|3||Danial Frost||HMD Motorsports||56.5288||-0.1724||88|
|4||Manuel Sulaiman||HMD Motorsports||56.6395||-0.2831||103|
|5||Christian Rasmussen||Andretti Autosport||56.6725||-0.3161||104|
|6||Sting Ray Robb||Andretti Autosport||56.7240||-0.3676||88|
|7||Matthew Brabham||Andretti Autosport||56.9043||-0.5479||78|
|8||Kyffin Simpson||TJ Speed Motorsports||57.0580||-0.7016||98|
|9||Christian Bogle||HMD Motorsports||57.1318||-0.7754||110|
|10||Ernie Francis, Jr.||HMD Motorsports||57.1366||-0.7802||116|
|11||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||57.2534||-0.897||101|
|12||Artem Petrov||TJ Speed Motorsports||57.3638||-1.0074||89|
|13||James Roe||TJ Speed Motorsports||57.8883||-1.5319||112|
While their big brothers were in Florida, the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires, Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, and Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires teams and drivers spent Monday and Tuesday testing at cool and damp Barber Motorsports Park.