By Patrick Stephan
I am filling in for Steve Wittich who had to depart the track a little early for a different commitment.
8 minutes in to the 3o minute session, Hunter McElrea got knocked out of P1 by Christian Rasmussen who turned a lap of 1:06.5170. As every0ne else got back out for what looked like their second run of the session, the times started dropping as Benjamin Pedersen took the top spot briefly until McElrea bested him with a 1:06.3722.
Another lap or two later Rasmussen jumps back to P1 as the drivers worked around the 1.8 mile St. Petersburg street course. Shadows are startign to fall over portions of the track as this session approaches halfway (and 6:00pm local time).
Danial Frost moved to P2 as HMD tries to break up the Andretti Autosport part on the time sheet. Frost then drops a 1:05.8655 to take the top spot, giving us a Top 5 of Frost, McElrea, Pedersen, Abel and Rasmussen. That’s HMD with DCR, Andretti, Global with HMD, Abel and Andretti from a team standpoint respectively.
With a little more than 15 minutes to go, the track went red for Ernie Francis, Jr who was off track near Turn 12.
Due to long shadows and possibly the local time rules, the session was shortened by it appears to be 5 minutes judging by the clock on timing and scoring.
Frost was looking good to stay in P1 as the clock was winding down, but Hunter McElrea jumped back to the top spot with a lap of 1:05.7693.
Earlier today, McElrea took the top spot in qualifying with a lap 1:05.2812.
Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires will have tomorrow off, and then McElrea will lead the field to green at 9:30AM ET on Sunday morning.
Here is the time sheet from today’s final practice session:
|Pos||Car #||Driver||Best Time||Diff||Total Laps||Best Lap||Team|
|1||27||Hunter McElrea||1:05.7693||1:05.7693||17||17||Andretti Autosport|
|2||68||Danial Frost||1:05.8655||0.0962||15||8||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
|3||26||Linus Lundqvist||1:06.0056||0.2363||16||16||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
|4||24||Benjamin Pedersen||1:06.1055||0.3362||16||8||Global Racing Group w/ HMD Motorsports|
|5||83||Matthew Brabham||1:06.1678||0.3985||17||16||Andretti Autosport|
|6||51||Jacob Abel||1:06.2174||0.4481||17||11||Abel Motorsports|
|7||28||Christian Rasmussen||1:06.2226||0.4533||14||9||Andretti Autosport|
|8||2||Sting Ray Robb||1:06.3766||0.6073||17||16||Andretti Autosport|
|9||59||Manuel Sulaiman||1:06.4843||0.715||14||13||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
|10||21||Kyffin Simpson||1:06.5756||0.8063||15||9||TJ Speed Motorsports|
|11||12||James Roe Jr||1:06.7291||0.9598||17||15||TJ Speed Motorsports|
|12||99||Ernie Francis Jr||1:07.1893||1.42||10||10||Force Indy|
|13||11||Antonio Serravalle||1:07.7730||2.0037||16||8||Abel Motorsports|
|14||7||Christian Bogle||1:07.8800||2.1107||12||11||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|