By Patrick Stephan
Welcome to a slightly cooler Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for today’s first Road to Indy activity – Practice #2 for the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires.
The session got started at 8:35am following a Porsche Sprint Challenge qualifying session with the air temp a nice 71F, and the track at 83.7. We saw track temps as high as 126F yesterday so this is a nice change, though not sure how representative that will make the track Sunday’s 10:35am Lights race.
The forecast for today calls much cooler temperatures – and decreasing humidity after a cold front blew through last night – bringing some overnight rain. That high of 82 is WAY better than yesterday’s 92F. Here is the forecast from our friend Indycar Weatherman on twitter @Indycar_Wxman
On the track, we had Christian Rasmussen leading the session early with a lap of 1:16.2056 as things go off to a fairly slow start.
The first red flag of the 40 minute session came at about the 10 minute mark when James Roe spun over at Turn 11. His car was pulled back on the track by the AMR INDYCAR Safety team.
The session picked up pace and speed and at about 19 minutes remaining mark, we had Benajamin Pedersen leading with a best lap of 1:13.1687, followed by Linus Lundqvist, Rasmussen, Jacob Abel, and Danial Frost – who won the pole here for last year’s second race.
The second red flag of the session came courtesy of Sting Ray Robb who found the tire barrier outside Turn 9 with 18 minutes remaining in the session. Looked like that incident actually started in Turn 8 as he was a little wide of the insider curbing on that right hand bend causing him to push wide and slide off the track and in to the tires outside the hard right Turn 9 corner.
He climbed out under his own power, but the car had to be brought back on the hook.
Back to green with 11 minutes to go and we’re seeing lots of improving lap times, though Pedersen still leads the session. Among those going quicker were Matthew Brabham who took the top spot a lap later at 1:12.5394
At the 5 minute to go mark, Rasmussen spun in Turn 13, did a quick 180 and was able to continue. Meanwhile Hunter McElrea had gone P1 with a lap of 1:12.3471.
Not a minute after Rasmussen moved out of the way, Brabham spun in the same final corner. He wasn’t quite able to make the car turn around, had to grab reverse and then got pointed the right direction – but not before impeding the lap of McElrea.
Back to green all around the track for the final four minutes and we got to the end cleanly with McElrea leading Brabham, Rasmussen, Lundqvist and Abel. As I look at the timesheet though I’m hearing Timing and Scoring is still deleting some laps for folks that ran though local yellows, so I had to wait a bit for the official time sheet – which is now below along with today’s full schedule:
|Diff||Best Lap||Total Laps|
|11||99||Ernie Francis Jr.||
|12||2||Sting Ray Robb||
|8:00 AM – 8:20 AM||Porsche Sprint Challenge||Qualifying|
|8:35 AM – 9:15 AM||Indy Lights||Practice 2|
|9:30 AM – 10:30 AM||NTT INDYCAR SERIES||Practice 2|
|10:45 AM – 11:25 AM||USF 2000||Race 2|
|11:40 AM – 12:30 PM||Indy Pro 2000||Race 1|
|12:45 PM – 1:30 PM||Porsche Sprint Challenge||Race 1|
|1:45 PM – 2:05 PM||Indy Lights||Qualifying|
|2:45 PM – 4:00 PM||NTT INDYCAR SERIES||Qualifying|
|4:15 PM – 4:45 PM||Stadium Super Trucks||Race 1|
|5:00 PM – 5:40 PM||USF2000||Race 3|
|5:55 PM – 6:40 PM||Indy Pro 2000||Race 2|