By Tony DiZinno
Linus Lundqvist entered Detroit with a 34-point lead and left it with an 84-point lead following a perfect weekend in the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series. He led every lap from pole en route to wins in both races, and heads to Road America this weekend poised to extend that lead to over 100 points.
He started his weekend off at Road America strong too, in a session with limited running as most of the 13 cars ran five laps or less at the 4.014-mile road course. Temperatures were 79 degrees ambient and 102 track for the session.
The Swede in the No. 26 JULA Dallara IL-15 for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing posted his first representative lap 20 minutes into the 30-minute session and by lap three, he’d leapt to the top of the charts at 1:55.0306.
Lundqvist led an HMD Motorsports top-three sweep of the session, with Danial Frost second (1:55.2449) and Benjamin Pedersen third (1:55.3901). Frost had two poles here last year with Andretti Autosport; Pedersen meanwhile remains in search of his elusive first Indy Lights win. The Dane is tied with Jonathan Klein as Indy Lights’ most frequent podium finisher who is yet to win a race (-Ed. note – thanks to Steve for that statistical deep dive).
Christian Rasmussen, driving a repaired No. 28 car for Andretti Autosport, was best of that team’s brigade on Friday. Andretti cars ran 4-5-6-7 with Rasmussen ahead of Hunter McElrea, Sting Ray Robb and Matthew Brabham.
Robb, in sixth, was just within 0.422 of a second of Lundqvist so the top six are in good range for Saturday.
Both Rasmussen and Brabham survived some lurid tail-happy slides on corner exit during the day. Brabham’s occurred on his first flying lap exiting Canada Corner while Rasmussen’s was near the end of the session exiting Turn 3.
Jacob Abel was eighth in the lone Abel Motorsports entry – there is no Ryan Phinny in the No. 61 car this weekend – ahead of Antonio Serravalle and Christian Bogle in the top 10. Bogle led the session early.
Force Indy’s Ernie Francis Jr. was the first car on track and ended 11th ahead of the pair of TJ Speed Motorsports teammates, James Roe and Kyffin Simpson.
Indy Lights’ second practice is 8:45 to 9:25 a.m. on Saturday, with qualifying from noon to 12:25 p.m.
Indy Lights GP at Road America – Practice
|1||26||Linus Lundqvist||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:55.0306||1:55.0306||4|
|2||68||Danial Frost||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:55.2449||0.2143||4|
|3||24||Benjamin Pedersen||Global Racing Group with HMD||1:55.3901||0.3595||4|
|4||28||Christian Rasmussen||Andretti Autosport||1:55.4179||0.3873||6|
|5||27||Hunter McElrea||Andretti Autosport||1:55.4354||0.4048||4|
|6||2||Sting Ray Robb||Andretti Autosport||1:55.4526||0.4220||4|
|7||83||Matthew Brabham||Andretti Autosport||1:55.8546||0.8240||4|
|8||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||1:56.1455||1.1149||5|
|9||11||Antonio Serravalle||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:56.3465||1.3159||7|
|10||7||Christian Bogle||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:56.3544||1.3238||8|
|11||99||Ernie Francis Jr.||Force Indy||1:56.5738||1.5432||9|
|12||12||James Roe||TJ Speed Motorsports||1:57.5025||2.4719||8|
|13||21||Kyffin Simpson||TJ Speed Motorsports||1:57.8424||2.8118||7|