By Tony DiZinno
This weekend for Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires has been a series of sweeps, and it flipped again in third session of the weekend at Road America.
HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing was 1-2-3 in practice one, and 1-2 in practice two this morning.
Yet by qualifying for tomorrow’s race, scheduled for 9:40 a.m. CDT and local time, Andretti Autosport had secured a 1-2-3-4 qualifying sweep led by a first-time polesitter in Road to Indy’s most experienced current driver, Sting Ray Robb (87 career RTI starts; 61 in Indy Pro 2000 2017-’20, 26 in Indy Lights ’21-’22 prior to Saturday).
The 25-minute session opened with overcast skies and temperatures of 69 ambient and 73 track. With some sprinkles reported on pit lane, the sense of urgency to get a fast lap in was heightened.
Shortly after the session started, Kyffin Simpson went off course T1 and resumed.
The opening laps saw HMD’s Linus Lundqvist on top ahead of Andretti’s Christian Rasmussen, back on track after his truncated morning practice, with Hunter McElrea third, Benjamin Pedersen fourth and Simpson fifth. Early morning practice pacesetters Christian Bogle and Antonio Serravalle were sixth and seventh on their first runs. James Roe went off course at Turn 3 but continued.
Times dropped significantly on the second timed laps, with Lundqvist down to a 1:54.6060 ahead of McElrea, Frost, Robb and Rasmussen.
Halfway through the session and the order was Lundqvist, McElrea, Frost, Rasmussen, Robb, Brabham, Pedersen, Abel, Bogle, Simpson, Serravalle, Francis Jr. and Roe.
Drivers headed into the pits before the final 10 minutes and their next runs on fresh sets of sticker Cooper Tires.
And that’s unsurprisingly when the times dropped.
Lundqvist had the top spot before getting surpassed by Frost, McElrea, and then Robb, creating an upset order compared to how it was halfway through the session. Robb was the only driver to break into the 1:53 bracket in his No. 2 Sekady Dallara IL-15 for Andretti Autosport.
Robb secured his first Indy Lights pole in his 27th start, eighth in his RTI career, and second straight front row start after rolling off second for Detroit race two. It’s Andretti’s fifth Indy Lights pole at this track.
McElrea, Rasmussen and Brabham all advanced up the order with the best HMD car Frost in fifth.
Indy Lights GP at Road America – Qualifying Unofficial Results
|1||2||Sting Ray Robb||Andretti Autosport||1:53.9743||1:53.9743||9|
|2||27||Hunter McElrea||Andretti Autosport||1:54.1981||0.2238||9|
|3||28||Christian Rasmussen||Andretti Autosport||1:54.2714||0.2971||9|
|4||83||Matthew Brabham||Andretti Autosport||1:54.3889||0.4146||9|
|5||68||Danial Frost||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:54.4251||0.4508||7|
|6||26||Linus Lundqvist||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:54.6060||0.6317||6|
|7||24||Benjamin Pedersen||Global Racing Group with HMD||1:54.7035||0.7292||8|
|8||21||Kyffin Simpson||TJ Speed Motorsports||1:55.0848||1.1105||9|
|9||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||1:55.1272||1.1529||7|
|10||99||Ernie Francis Jr.||Force Indy||1:55.1423||1.1680||8|
|11||7||Christian Bogle||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:55.3795||1.4052||8|
|12||11||Antonio Serravalle||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing||1:55.6811||1.7068||7|
|13||12||James Roe||TJ Speed Motorsports||1:55.6838||1.7095||10|