HMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing veteran Linus Lundqvist on track at Belle Isle ((Photo Courtesy of Penske Entertainment – Chris Owens)

By Steve Wittich

HMD Motorsports veteran Linus Lundqvist put together a dominant qualifying session to grab his fourth and fifth consecutive poles of the season and sixth and seventh of his Indy Lights career.

The first track activity on Belle Isle on a sunny but brisk Saturday morning was a split Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying. When the 7:45 am session got underway, the ambient temperature was cool 59F, and the track temperature was 63F.

With only 12 minutes available for the first portion of qualifying, the track was quickly busy with the sound of the turbocharged 2.0L AER power plants.

After two laps, Robb was the quickest of the 14 drivers, but times were changing quickly with the cold tires on the cold track.

The only incidents during the session were several cars in the run-off in Turn 7. Christian Bogle (HMD Motorsports w/Dale Coyne Racing), Kyffin Simpson (TJ Speed Motorsports), Ryan Phinny (Abel Motorsports), Ernie Francis, Jr. (Force Indy)

After five laps, with three minutes remaining, Lundqvist held the provisional pole, but the timing screen was lit up purple as drivers continued to get faster as their tires came up to temperature.

Christian Rasmussen received a drive-thru penalty for a pit exit violation with one minute remaining. However, the No. 28 Andretti Autosport machine did not serve the penalty, and his last few laps were invalidated.

Lundqvist lowered the provisional pole on his eighth of eight laps, turning a lap of 83.1190 seconds, almost a half-second ahead of his long-time teammate Pederson. The only other drivers within a second of Lundqvist

The second portion of qualifying was on hold as race control reviewed several incidents and the potential invalidation of laps. Simpson, Robb, Brabham, Frost, and Phinny had laps invalidated.

Indy Lights Detroit Grand Prix Race #1 unofficial qualifying results

1 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:23.1190 ——
2 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 1:23.6137 0.4947
3 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 1:24.0186 0.8996
4 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:24.0519 0.9329
5 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1:24.4305 1.3115
6 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1:24.5219 1.4029
7 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:24.9774 1.8584
8 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 1:25.5000 2.3810
9 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 1:26.1672 3.0482
10 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 1:26.1930 3.0740
11 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:26.7774 3.6584
12 21 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed Motorsports 1:26.7893 3.6703
13 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:27.2299 4.1109
14 61 Ryan Phinny Abel Motorsports 1:28.7357 5.6167

The second 12-minutes of qualifying got the green flag at 8:09 am, and the exit of the pit lane was a mess as everybody tried to get on the 2.35-mile 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit first. As a result, Bogle, Brabham, and Abel were all given drive-through penalties for missing the pit exit commit line.

Fresh Cooper Tires and minor adjustments were the order during the break.

The first car to go under 84 seconds and grab the provisional pole was Race #1 pole-winner Lundqvist. He dropped a second off that lap, going 82.8592 seconds, over a half-second ahead of the next best driver.

The top five on the timing screens were Lundqvist, Brabham, Pedersen, Brabham, and Robb, with five minutes remaining.

With three minutes remaining, the red flag came out for Pedersen’s No. 24 Global Racing Group machine, which stopped between Turn 11 and Turns 12. As a result, the Dane was penalized his fastest lap and will start 13th.

That became a red and checkered flag when it was determined that there was not enough time to restart the session.

Indy Lights Detroit Grand Prix Race #2 unofficial qualifying results

1 26 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:22.6778 ——
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 1:23.1821 0.5043
3 27 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1:23.3252 0.6474
4 28 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 1:23.5284 0.8506
5 83 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1:23.5505 0.8727
6 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:24.0160 1.3382
7 68 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:24.1850 1.5072
8 11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:24.6432 1.9654
9 99 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 1:24.7694 2.0916
10 21 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed Motorsports 1:24.9442 2.2664
11 12 James Roe TJ Speed Motorsports 1:26.1648 3.4870
12 7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing 1:26.5316 3.8538
13 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 1:27.0708 4.3930
14 61 Ryan Phinny Abel Motorsports 1:27.7294 5.0516