What a difference a day makes – yesterday’s heat is gone, replaced first by a few drops of rain (creeping north from Hurricane Kay, which made landfall in Southern California yesterday before breaking apart) and then by the thick marine layer that is so typical of the Monterey Bay area.
Temperate is 61F, track temps are 71F. The marine layer is making the air quite heavy.
Reminder – there will be two 12-minute qualifying sessions, with a six-minute break in between. The first session will set the grid for race one later today, the second session sets the grid for tomorrow’s season finale.
Started with a brief hold for a line of oil in turn 10 that track workers and the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team needed to finish cleaning up before the green flag.
Race one qualifying
As the drivers all complete their first lap, it’s Linus Lundqvist to the top of the charts with a lap at 1:24.4341.
Benjamin Pedersen with the fastest lap two, at 1:18.8885.
Christian Rasmussen and Matthew Brabham headed out of pit lane with seven minutes remaining.
Christian Bogle spun in turn eight and continued – but received a penalty for causing a yellow flag and impacting another driver’s qualifying effort. Bogle will lose his two quick qualifying laps from this session.
Pedersen remains on top, but Sting Ray Robb posts a lap just 1/100th of a second behind, with Lundqvist third.
Lundqvist through the dirt in turn 10.
Brabham with a big rear wiggle going through turn 10.
Robb with the quick lap at the checkered flag, with a lap at 1:15.7209. Rasmussen second, Pedersen third.
This is Robb’s second pole of the year (first pole was at Road America).
Sting Ray Robb: “That was a good lap. Starting position is so important here if you’re going to go for the win. We saw massive tire deg yesterday so hopefully, it won’t be as bad today. We’ll do our best to stay up front.”
|1||2||Sting Ray Robb||1:15.7209||Andretti Autosport|
|2||28||Christian Rasmussen||1:15.7976||Andretti Autosport|
|3||24||Benjamin Pedersen||1:15.8297||Global Racing Group with HMD|
|4||27||Hunter McElrea||1:15.9300||Andretti Autosport|
|5||26||Linus Lundqvist||1:16.0549||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
|6||83||Matthew Brabham||1:16.1377||Andretti Autosport|
|7||68||Danial Frost||1:16.3295||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
|8||51||Jacob Abel||1:16.4801||Abel Motorsports|
|9||21||Kyffin Simpson||1:16.5339||HMD Motorsports|
|10||11||Nolan Siegel||1:16.7499||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
|11||99||Ernie Francis Jr.||1:16.9470||Force Indy|
|12||15||Flinn Lazier||1:17.2277||Abel Motorsports|
|13||7||Christian Bogle||1:18.5105||HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing|
Race two qualifying
Flinn Lazier will serve a five-minute hold in pit lane for running the checkered flag at the end of the previous session.
Matthew Brabham also received a penalty that voids his times from session one. Per INDYCAR:
The driver was in violation of Rule 14.30.4. of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires rulebook. The rule involves Driver Equivalency Weight.
According to Rule 126.96.36.199., the penalty can include a minimum $100,000 fine and/or other penalties. Brabham’s qualification laps for Race 1 have been voided and the driver will start in the final position of the 13-car field.
Nolan Siegel with the fastest first lap in the field at 1:22.7268, with Kyffin Simpson and Ernie Francis Jr. right behind. His second lap at 1:18.0377 keeps him on top.
McElrea and Siegel side by side through turn two – and those moves are under review by race control. McElrea receives a penalty for qualifying interference, losing his two quick laps.
The rest of the top six in points joining McElrea on track now.
Francis Jr. with the quick time of 1:15.8729 with four minutes remaining.
Race control reviewing an incident between Robb and Simpson.
Lundqvist to the top with a 1:15.3788 with 2:30 remaining.
Plenty of drivers putting wheels off between four and five, plenty of dirt on the racetrack now.
Robb with a lap of 1:15.3783 – that’s a whopping 5/10,000th of a second difference.
At the checkered flag, Christian Rasmussen grabs the pole with a lap at 1:15.3618, with Robb and Lundqvist second and third.
This is Rasmussen’s first Indy Lights pole position.
Christian Rasmussen: “It’s been so long! We had a great car underneath us – we made some good changes overnight so I’m very happy. I can’t thank Bob Stellrecht and everyone at Andretti Autosport enough.”
Race one takes the green flag today at 12:25 p.m. Pacific / 3:25 p.m. Eastern.