Archives for Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire – TSO

Road To Indy in Toronto – Sunday – Askew scores pole for Race #2

Game on!

For the fourth time, this season and 15th time in two and a half seasons of Road To Indy competition Oliver Askew will start from the pole.

The 22-year-old turned a quick lap at 65.0940 seconds, which was just over a tenth-of-a-second ahead of his closest championship competitor, Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay).

Askew credited the Andretti Autosport crew for making the right change when they pitted in the middle of the session.

When all nine cars headed out on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit, they were on new sticker tires.

The 30-minute session began a few minutes late, while track repairs were completed. The ambient temperature 70F, and the track temperature was 77F.

Robert Megennis, Oliver Askew, Rinus VeeKay and Aaron Telitz all spent time at the top of the timing screen.

At the half-way point of the 30-minute session, the provisional pole sitter was VeeKay, with a lap of 66.0861 seconds. Sowery, Telitz, Askew, and Kellett were the remainder of the top five.

With 15-minutes left in qualifying, the majority of drivers were on pit road for adjustments.

VeeKay was the first driver to go quicker in the second half of qualifying.

With ten minutes remaining, eight of nine drivers were on track. The quickest lap was 66.0861 seconds by VeeKay.

With 7 minutes remaining, Race #1 winner Telitz spun in Turn 3, making light contact with the nose of his No. 4 AER/Dallara IL-15. The veteran came to pit road, and Belardi Auto Racing affixed a new nose and Telitz went back out on the track.

Sowery, with just under five minutes remaining, grabbed the provisional pole, but it didn’t last long. VeeKay, with the first lap under 66 seconds, went back to the top.

With 150 seconds remaining in the session, Askew jumped to the provisional pole, with Sowery also going faster than VeeKay.

On the next lap, his 20th of the session, Askew went even quicker. On their final laps, VeeKay, Telitz, and Kellett both went faster than Sowery but were not fast enough to catch Askew.

Indy Lights Qualifying #2 – Unofficial Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RANK CAR NO NAME TEAM QUICK LAP GAP
1 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:05.094 –.—-
2 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:05.206 0.1121
3 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 1:05.274 0.1797
4 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:05.302 0.2077
5 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 1:05.370 0.2764
6 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:05.930 0.8364
7 79 David Malukas BN Racing 1:05.943 0.8493
8 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:06.184 1.0896
9 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:07.173 2.0791

The second Indy Lights race of the weekend roles off at 11 am.

Road To Indy In Toronto – Saturday – Indy Lights win gives Telitz all the feels – Askew and VeeKay share the podium for the 20th time

A win from pole on the shore of Lake Ontario gave super-sub Aaron Telitz all the ‘feels.’

“It feels good,” exclaimed the Belardi Auto Racing veteran to TSO Ladder after the race. “It feels really good! It feels nice! It feels right. I feel like I should have been on it (the top step of the podium) last year, but it never happened – and that sucked.”

The win is Telitz’s first since the final race of the 2017 season at Watkins Glen and his third career Indy Lights win. The Rice Lake, Wisc. native now has 13 career Road To Indy wins in 82 starts.

It’s Telitz’s 11th start on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit. He has three wins, six podiums, and has never finished lower than sixth in Toronto.

For the 20th time in 40 Road To Indy races they have contested together Oliver Askew, and Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) shared a podium. That includes six of the first ten Indy Lights races of the 2019 season.

On Saturday, it was Askew, the 2017 USF2000 champion that bested the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 champion.

The first Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires was given the command to fire their AER 2.0L turbo-charged engines at 12:46 pm. The air was weighty with the humidity at 72%. The ambient temperature was 78F, and the track temperature was a warm 115F.

The front row of Telitz and VeeKay brought the nine hungry drivers to the green flag on Prince’s Boulevard.

Telitz got a good start, getting to the start/finish line ahead of the outside front row starter, who lost another position when Askew got through Turn 1 first after astutely following closely behind Telitz.

Aaron Telitz lead the Indy Lights field into Turn 1, while Oliver Askew moves inside Rinus Veekay for second (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

The running order at the end of the first lap was: Telitz, Askew, VeeKay, Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport), Toby Sowery (Team Pelfrey/BN Racing), Dalton Kellett (Juncos Racing), David Malukas (BN Racing), Lucas Kohl (Belardi Auto Racing) and Robert Megennis (Andretti Autosport)

The first third of the race was relatively calm, with first Kellet and then Malukas making mistakes and falling to the tail.

On Lap 10, Telitz lead was 2.515 over Askew. The points leader had his mirrors full of VeeKay, who was well within push-to-pass range and was using them liberally to get by his rival.

Ryan Norman was running fourth with Sowery rounding out the top five.

On Lap 12, VeeKay appeared to brush the wall at the exit of Turn 5 while chasing Askew, dropping 2.5 seconds off his rival.

“Several times,” said VeeKay when asked if he brushed the wall at the exit of Turn 5. “also in Turn 9 on the inside, I hit the wall on the inside. This race, I pushed so incredibly hard, using all of the track.”

At the half-way point of the 35 race, Telitz’s lead was 3.5 seconds over Askew. The Andretti Autosport rookie had 2.7 seconds over VeeKay, who had a comfortable 3+ second gap to Norman.

The closest battle on the track with 15 laps remaining was between Norman and Sowery, who was within push-to-pass range of the Andretti Autosport veteran. Sowery, with 13 activations of push-to-pass, had an advantage over Norman who had seven.

With ten laps left, Telitz lead had grown to 4.1976 seconds and was the only driver turning sub-65 second laps.

Telitz’s lead was 4.4769 seconds with five laps remaining.

With four laps remaining the gap between first and second was down to 3.9584 seconds, with VeeKay was just outside of the 1.5-second push-to-pass activation gap.

VeeKay was able to get back within 1.5 seconds of Askew with 17 turns left in 385 lap race. The Dutchman used up his push to pass to make up a full second over the lap and a half but was not able to get past his chief championship rival.

Askew’s aggressive first lap move means the 2017 USF2000 champion’s title lead grows from three points to six points.

Expect a more assertive Askew for the rest of the season. After the race, the 22-year-old told us:

“My goal is to win races and stretch out the points lead. I think I’ve been a little too conservative the past couple of races and that strategy has now gone out the window. We can be conservative in Laguna if all goes to plan.

“The Index Invest Andretti Autosport car felt good today. Hopefully, we’ll turn up the wick a bit tomorrow in qualifying and get a better starting position and hopefully get another podium or win. We’re looking for our fourth win.”

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products Race #1 Unofficial Results

RANK CAR NO NAME TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 4 Aaron Telitz 35 35 LAPS
2 28 Oliver Askew 35 -2.9776
3 21 Rinus VeeKay 35 -3.4753
4 48 Ryan Norman 35 -12.5556
5 2 Toby Sowery 35 -42.6509
6 27 Robert Megennis 35 -43.1464
7 5 Lucas Kohl 35 -64.3701
8 67 Dalton Kellett 34 -1 LAPS
9 79 David Malukas 34 -1 LAPS

The top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder is back on track bright and early for an 8:15 am qualifying session on Sunday.

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Road To Indy in Toronto – Saturday – Telitz grabs his third career Indy Lights pole – his third Road To Indy pole in Toronto

An exciting Indy Lights qualifying session that had three drivers hold the provisional pole in the final few minutes ended with Aaron Telitz grabbing his third career Indy Lights pole. It’s the 13th career Road To Indy pole for Rice Lake, Wisc. driver and the third time that Telitz will start on the inside of the front row in Toronto.

It’s the fifth pole on the streets of Exhibition Place for a Belardi Auto Racing driver.

After leading the most of the session, VeeKay had to settle for the outside front row, his sixth front row start of the season.

The second row consists of a pair of Andretti Autosport teammates, with Oliver Askew and Ryan Norman both ending up less than three-tenths behind pole winner Telitz.

After a 22-hour break, the Indy Lights series hit the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit for their first qualifying session of the weekend. The skies were sunny with an ambient temperature of 69 F and a track temperature of 81F.

Drivers went out on used tires for the first half of the session with Askew, Teltiz, and VeeKay all spending time holding onto the provisional pole.

At the half-way mark of the 30-minute session, the field was on pit road making adjustments and bolting on fresh Cooper Tire slicks. A lap by 65.1092 seconds by VeeKay led the way. He was followed in the top five by points leader Oliver Askew, Malukas, Telitz, and Ryan Norman.

Telitz was the first driver to go faster after getting their Coopers up to the proper operating temperature, turning a lap within three-tenths of VeeKay. On the next lap, the Belardi Auto Racing veteran moved to within four-hundredths of VeeKay.

With seven minutes remaining in the session, Telitz grabbed the provisional pole, with the first lap in the 64-second range.

Askew, on his 18th lap of the session, moved past VeeKay to move to second on the timing screen.

VeeKay, who was the last driver to move to fresh tires, jumped back to second on his 20th lap of the session with just under three minutes remaining.

On the next lap, the Soul Red No. 21 moved to the top of timing screen, giving the reigning Indy Pro 2000 driver the provisional pole by a slime nine-hundredths over Telitz.

Further down the order, Malukas, Ryan Norman and Toby Sowery were trading the fourth through sixth spots amongst themselves, with Norman ending up with the outside row two starting spot.

Just before the checkered flag came out, Telitz jumped back to the provisional pole.

Indy Lights Qualifying #1 – Unofficial Results

RANK CAR NO NAME TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 1:04.429 –.—- 20
2 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:04.512 0.0827 24
3 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:04.652 0.2230 23
4 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:04.682 0.2525 21
5 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 1:04.831 0.4019 23
6 79 David Malukas BN Racing 1:04.962 0.5327 23
7 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:05.637 1.2080 21
8 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:06.129 1.6999 21
9 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:07.105 2.6758 7

The first of two Cooper Tires Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products races of the weekend is scheduled to get the green flag at 12:45 pm.

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Road To Indy in Toronto – Friday – Askew leads Indy Lights practice with top four within four-hundredths

Championship points leader Oliver Askew ended the lone Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires session on top of the timing screens, but not by much.

The top four drivers, from three different teams, were within four-hundredths of Askew’s lap of 66.555 seconds. Askew’s closest championship competitor Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) had the second quickest time, ending up less than one-hundredth ahead of Aaron Telitz (Belardi Auto Racing) and Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport).

“It was a good first session – we ended up P1,” said the Andretti Autosport rookie. “I think there is still a little left in the car but we were on pace right away so we didn’t have many issues at all. The track is very green right now and we’re going to be about three seconds quicker in qualifying tomorrow, so it is going to be hard to make the right decision for the car. Luckily, these guys at Andretti Autosport have a ton of experience from years prior so we’re probably going to have to rely on that more than anything to keep up with the changing track positions. I feel good, the car feels good and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Eight of the nine drivers were within a half-second of Askew.

The final Road To Indy practice session of the weekend began on time at 10:50 am. The skies were overcast, the ambient temperature was 72F, and the track temperature was 85F.

The USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 drivers that we had a chance to chat with after their sessions told us that the track wasn’t as green as they thought it would be, telling us that they did have to adjust their braking points a little and take extra care over the concrete sections.

The early leaders in the session were Dalton Kellett and Aaron Telitz.

With 15-minutes gone in the session, the Gap Guard / Rich Energy sponsored No. 2 of Toby Sowery spun in front of the field at the exit of Turn 8. All the drivers were able to avoid the Brit, and he kept it off the wall and was able to continue, keeping the session green.

At the half-way point of the 40-minute session, it was Telitz, with a lap of 67.090 seconds led the way. Kellett, VeeKay, Megennis, and Askew made up the remainder of the top five.

Drivers began the day with carry-over tires, but at the half-way point had started to come in for fresh Cooper Tire slicks.

We had a chance to watch the onboard from Ryan Norman’s Three Chord sponsored No. 48 and two things stood out. The first is just how bumpy, especially Turn 4 and 5, certain sections of the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit are. And second, the amount of correction required when going from the asphalt to concrete and back to pavement.

With 12-minutes remaining, VeeKay was able to turn a lap that was three-thousandths quicker than Telitz. The duo were the only drivers with laps under 67 seconds with at the three-quarter point of the session.

With seven minutes left, Telitz jumped back to the top of the timing screen.

Points leader Askew and his teammate Norman, along with VeeKay, all went quicker with three minutes left in the session, with all but one driver turning their fastest lap at the end of the session.

The entire 40-minute session was run under the green flag, and the nine drivers were able to complete 251 laps.

Indy Lights Practice # 1 Results

RANK CAR NO NAME TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:06.555 –.—- 27
2 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:06.590 0.0345 32
3 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 1:06.594 0.0387 31
4 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:06.596 0.0408 28
5 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:06.820 0.2640 30
6 79 David Malukas BN Racing 1:07.033 0.4773 23
7 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 1:07.037 0.4813 25
8 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:07.052 0.4966 28
9 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:08.400 1.8448 27

The final rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is done for the day. They will qualify for their first race of the weekend at 8:40 am on Saturday morning.

Indy Lights at Road America – Sunday – VeeKay dominates – Norman on Podium again – Askew maintains points lead

Juncos Racing rookie Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) credited a dominant win on Sunday with on some of what he learned after a drive-thru penalty on Saturday.

“It helped me quite a lot,” answered VeeKay when asked about Saturday’s comeback drive translating to Sunday. “Yesterday, I got a drive-thru penalty and I didn’t have anything to lose. So, I pushed every lap, and I learned what the tires could handle. I took everything that I learned, and I didn’t make many mistakes today. The team gave me a great car. It’s amazing having these guys around me and helping me win.”

The Dutchman’s third win of the season is the 13th of his short Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career and moves him to within three points of Indy Lights points leader Oliver Askew.

The 18-year-old joins Victor Franzoni as a Juncos Racing Indy Lights race winner at Road America.

Road America Indy Lights Race #2 winner, Juncos Racing rookie Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) is interviewed by INDYCAR Radio’s Rob Howden (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Askew, who dealt with a mechanical issue, that limited him to a fifth-place finish on Saturday, also rebounded on Sunday, finishing on the bottom step of the podium. It’s the seventh time the 22-year-old has visited the podium this year and 23rd time in his 39 race Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career.

“I had a more aggressive start today than yesterday, but I ran out of push-to-pass early, trying to stay with Ryan (Norman), which was unfortunate, because my car was at its best late in the race,” said Askew. “It was a good fight with both my teammates, so I think we gave the fans a good show. I didn’t expect to leave this weekend with the points lead, given how strong Rinus is here, so I’m happy with the result. I’m so proud of the No. 28 crew – I’ve never had big success here and we didn’t test here, so I’m happy to come away with two podiums. I’m looking forward to the upcoming races, and I know we’ll be stronger going forward.”

The Ryan that Askew mentions is his Andretti Autosport Ryan Norman. Saturday’s race winner extended his podium streak to three races and made up ground on the points leader for the second straight race.

The highlight of the 20-lap race was Norman’s quick re-pass of Askew, with a bold move in turn 5.

The 21-year-old began the weekend at Road America fifth in the hunt for the NTT IndyCar Series scholarship, 62 points out of first place and leaves in fourth place, within 45 points of Askew.

“We had a great battle with (Oliver) Askew,” said the smiling veteran after the race. “My tires were falling off a little quicker than yesterday so I was getting really loose in the high speed corners. Oliver was catching me in Turns 1 and 3, but I was able to pull away in the back of the track. It was definitely an exciting race. I was just trying to put together some clean laps towards the end there because I knew Oliver might be catching up. I knew he didn’t have much push-to-pass so I felt pretty secure but just had to keep putting together clean laps. Thank you to Andretti Autosport and Three Chord for a successful weekend at Road America.”

The ambient temperature was 64F, and the track temperature was 72F (which was 30 degrees cooler than yesterday) when the command was given for the drivers to fire up the turbocharged 2.0L AER engines.

After a single pace lap, and for the second straight race, pole sitter VeeKay and Norman brought the Indy Lights field up the Road America Straight to the start/finish line to begin Sunday’s second race of the weekend.

Telitz, from his third starting spot, moved to the outside of Norman to make it three wide headed into Turn 1, the Belardi Auto Racing veteran was forced to back out of the move, and that allowed Askew to move past him into third.

VeeKay got through the first three turns ahead of Norman, as behind them several drivers locked up their Cooper Tires under braking for the critical right-hander.

Telitz got ahead of Askew into the Turn 5 braking zone but locked up the brakes on the Endodontic Specialists of Wisconsin sponsored No. 4, putting his right side tires on the gator curbs forcing him to miss the corner and drop into ninth place, right behind his teammate. Telitz was able to get past Kohl in Canada Corner to gain back the first of four spots he’d make up.

At the end of the first lap, VeeKay’s lead was already 1.008 seconds over Norman, who was followed across the line by Askew, Robert Megennis, Toby Sowery, David Malukas, Dalton Kellett, Telitz and Kohl.

At the start of the fourth lap, VeeKay had built up a 2.017-second lead, putting Norman out of push-to-pass range, and into the clutches of Askew.

Askew took a look to the inside of Norman in Turn 1, but thought better of it, tucking his Index Invest No. 28 right under the rear wing until the exit of Turn 3, when he drove by Norman on the inside on the long run to Turn 5. Askew cleared Norman well before the corner and pulled right to set up for a typical entry into the corner. Norman took that opportunity to dive back to the inside, out braking his teammate, who went wide over the curbing at corner exit. Norman was able to win the drag race up the hill under the Corvette Bridge to Turn 6, to maintain his second spot on the podium.

That put Askew into the viewfinder of the third Andretti Autosport driver, Megennis and Sowery.

VeeKay continued to push hard, with the rear end of the Mazda/Jumbo Supermarkets/La Place Restaurants/KNAF Talent First sponsored No. 21 stepping out as he crossed the curbing at the exit of the final corner.

Norman started to pull away from Askew, who held Megennis behind him until Lap 9 when Megennis made the pass for the final spot on the podium on the inside of Askew in Turn 5.

When the leader VeeKay was shown the crossed flags, his lead over Norman had grown to a substantial 6.479 seconds. Megennis was on the final step of the podium and was followed by Askew, Sowery, Telitz, Malukas, Kellett, and Kohl.

On Lap 12, Megennis’ rear tires had begun to burn off, allowing Askew to make a pass in on the run down to Turn 5 and moving back to the final step of the podium. Megennis locked up his Cooper Tires in the next corner, getting too deep into the corner and allowing Askew to pull away.

Robert Megennis goes a little too deep into Turn 6 in attempt to get back around his Andretti Autosport teammate Oliver Askew in Sunday’s Indy Lights race at Road America (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Sowery, who was running fourth, but out of push-to-pass, fell into the clutches of Teltiz and Malukas.

Telitz went to the outside of Sowery in Turn 5, but pushed wide over the curbing and lost a spot to Malukas on the run to Turn 6.

Malukas immediately started to put pressure on Sowery and was able to pass teammate for the fifth spot on the Road America Straight.

Later on that same lap, Telitz faked moving to the outside on the run down Kettle Bottoms before diving to the inside and out braking Sowery to win that battle for position.

In front of them, Malukas began to immediately pressure Megennis, who used the HMD Trucking sponsored No. 79’s final activation of push-to-pass to make the pass on the Kettle Moraine Sweep.

With five laps remaining, VeeKay’s lead had grown to 9.5 seconds over Norman. Askew, who had used up all of his push-to-pass, was not able to get close enough to pressure his teammate.

With three laps remaining VeeKay’s lead over Norman was 11.389 seconds.

VeeKay ended up crossing under the checkered flag 12.8989 seconds ahead of Norman, who finished on the podium for his third straight race.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER Race #2 Unofficial Results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 20 laps
2 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport -12.8989
3 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport -13.6108
4 79 David Malukas BN Racing -17.4219
5 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing -19.7431
6 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport -22.0393
7 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing -28.5255
8 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey -32.978
9 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing -40.7614

Indy Lights at Road America – Saturday – Norman wins – Askew and VeeKay run into trouble

One, two, three, four, five!! Five different drivers spent some time in the lead of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER during a chaotic first two laps. The fifth driver to take the lead, Ryan Norman, turned in a smooth final 18 laps to grab his first Indy Lights road course win.

Andretti Autosport veteran Ryan Norman celebrates his Indy Lights win at Road America (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

“I absolutely love this place,” said a grinning Norman after pulling into victory lane. “Andretti Autosport gave me such a great car; the Cooper Tires hung on all race. This is my first road course win in Indy Lights. I’ve proved that I can win on ovals and now here. It’s really good momentum going into the (NTT) IndyCar (Series) test next week.

“I learned that in the last couple of years, the rears would fall off with power down. I was trying to be super smooth with the guys pushing super hard behind me and knowing that their rears would fall off. I just kept it clean, kept my head down and it worked out in the end.”

After the 20-laps were complete, Megennis, who finished on the podium for the fourth time this year, proclaimed a race that saw him lead the first lap, drop to fourth and eventually work his way up to second, as the ‘smartest drive’ of his career.

“I took what I learned at Circuit of The Americas; don’t battle too hard at the beginning and save your push-to-pass until the end and it worked out,” explained Megennis. “I had better tires, more push-to-pass and I was able to drive around those guys at the of the race. I can’t thank Andretti Autosport enough, that car was awesome. Palo Alto Networks, Optiv, and Salepoint for getting me out here.”

The one-two finish by the Andretti Autosport duo meant both drivers were able to take a chunk out their third teammate’s championship lead. Norman’s gap to Askew dropped from 62 points to 48 points, and he moved from fifth to fourth in the championship.

Aaron Telitz, for the second straight Indy Lights event, got a late call to jump into the Belardi Auto Racing No. 4. The veteran stood on an Indy Lights podium for the 11th time and improved an impressive Road To Indy podium percentage to 50.6%. Teltiz made his 81st start across the three series and stood on the podium for the 41% time.

“It feels pretty good (to be back on an Indy Lights podium),” said Telitz after getting out of his car. “I didn’t expect this, starting in sixth place and coming up to the lead on the second lap. That was awesome! Hopefully, the fans enjoyed that. Ended up third because the car fell off there at the end. I can’t thank the Belardi Auto Racing guys enough and Endodontic Specialists of Wisconsin for being on board. We’re going to make root canals fun again.

The pole sitter, Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) got the jump on Norman as the field crested the hill to take the green flag. Behind him, the three Andretti Autosport teammates went three wide into the braking zone for Turn 1.

Megennis got was able to go around the outside of Norman to slot into the second spot, while points leader Oliver Askew, fell back to seventh early on Lap 1. The Index Invest sponsored No. 28 dropped two wheels in the grass on driver’s right in Turn 2 and was caught some air when it got back on track.

The Jupiter, Fla. would have to settle for a fifth-place finish, breaking a string of five straight podiums, after a bolt in the steering mechanism broke off. Askew told TSO that the wheel was shaking the entire race, and he was only able to drive at about 75% for the remainder of the race.

Sowery, from his eighth starting spot, moved into the final place on the podium with a textbook over-under move on Norman in Turn 5 and 6.

Leader VeeKay ran way wide at the exit of the right-hand Turn 7, getting all four Cooper shod Motegi Wheels off terra firma before rejoining right in front of Megennis.

The No. 27 Cybersecurity Dallara/AER of Megennis moved to the inside to make a move into Turn 8, but that move was blocked by VeeKay, who moved aggressively to his left in reaction to Megennis.

VeeKay was able to hold onto the lead, but by the time the Juncos Racing rookie had exited Canada Corner, he had been issued a drive-thru penalty for blocking.

Sowery took a look around the outside of Megennis in Canada Corner on the first lap, but ran wide, allowing Norman and Telitz to get by the Rich Energy/Gap Guard sponsored No. 2 of the Englishman.

VeeKay immediately dove for pit road, handing the lead over to Megennis, who led his fourth Indy Lights race in the last five starts.

The running order at the end of the first lap was Megennis, Norman, Telitz, Sowery, Dalton Kellett, Askew, Lucas Kohl, David Malukas and VeeKay.

Norman tried to go around the outside of his Andretti Autosport teammate in Turn 1, but could not make the pass. The eventual winner got a much better driver off of Turn 3, but it was Telitz, from his sixth starting spot that got an even better exit off the right-hander before the long run down the Moraine Sweep.

The home state driver was able to go around the outside and grab the lead. Right behind him, Norman moved around Megennis, who then bumped wheels with Sowery on the run-up to the Corvette Bridge before yielding that position.

Telitz led at the line to begin the third lap, but by the time they had reached pit out, Norman was able to get around Telitz, easily leading through Turn 1.

Sowery got a great draft and was able to drive around the outside of Telitz in Turn 5.

Things settled in for the next seven laps with Norman working hard to hold back Sowery, who was using his push-to-pass liberally in an attempt to get to grab the lead.

At the back of the field, VeeKay was turning qualifying type laps to make up the 23-second gap to Lucas Kohl and Dalton Kellett, who were swapping seventh and eighth.

Norman’s lead over Sowery when the sixth lap began was 0.9 seconds.

Ryan Norman leads Toby Sowery and Aaron Telitz in the first Indy Lights at Road America in 2019 (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

As they crossed the line to start the eighth lap Norman’s lead had grown to just over 1.5 seconds, putting Sowery outside of the push-to-pass range.

Sowery, who was out of push-to-pass, lost the second spot just after the start/finish line on Lap 9.

At the halfway mark of the 20 lap race, Norman’s lead over Telitz was 1.7 seconds. Sowery was hanging onto the back of Telitz’s Endodontic Specialists of Wisconsin sponsored No. 4.

Megennis, Askew, Malukas, Kohl, Kellett, and VeeKay rounded out the running order after ten laps.

VeeKay continued to make up the ground he lost due to the drive-thru on the first lap, closing the gap to eighth place from 23 seconds to eight seconds.

The reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion was able to get past Kellett on Lap 13 and Kohl on Lap 16 to salvage a seventh-place finish.

Throughout the next five laps, Norman’s lead in the Three Chord sponsored No. 48 had grown to a comfortable 4.5 seconds.

The rest of the running order remained the same, with Megennis starting to make up ground to Sowery and Telitz.

The New Yorker was able to conserve his Cooper Tires and work to within 1.5 seconds of Sowery, which allowed him to utilize the push-to-pass he had saved.

Behind the top four, Askew was busy holding back Malukas for fifth.

With six laps left, Megennis went to the outside of Sowery in Turn 5, but Sowery placed his car perfectly to defend the spot.

With five laps remaining, Megennis was able to drive by Sowery on the Road America Straight, moving onto the podium.

Robert Megennis takes a look to the inside of Toby Sowery for the final spot on the podium in an Indy Lights race at Road America (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

With some push-to-pass remaining, he was quickly able to catch Telitz, and on Lap 17, he was able to make the pass in Turn 5; faking a move to the outside, before diving to the inside and out-braking Telitz to grab the second spot on the podium.

After the race, the Rice Lake, Wisc. driver told us that engineer Tim Neff had set up the car aggressively; going stiff on the springs and laying the rear wing back, in an attempt to move forward quickly. That plan worked, but they were just a little too aggressive, and the 27-year-old was not able to keep his rear tires under him.

Telitz valiantly tried to hold on to the back of Megennis, but the 19-year-old, who had smartly saved his tires, began to make inroads on Norman’s 5.5-second lead as they crossed the line with three laps remaining.

Just before he began the final lap, Kohl, dropped a wheel on drivers left while setting up for the last turn. That pulled the Bellko Trading/Kohltrade/IVI Vision sponsored No. 5 into the grass and eventually into the gravel trap. The Brazilian was able to get on the brakes quickly and came to a stop just before the tire barriers.

Norman, who is testing an NTT IndyCar Series machine with Andretti Autosport at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, on June 25, crossed under the checkered flag 4.7 seconds ahead of his rookie teammate.

It’s the second straight Indy Lights race in a row that Norman led the most laps.

Norman joins Colton Herta as one of two Andretti Autosport drivers that have won an Indy Lights race at Road America.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER Race #1 Results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport
2 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 4.6912
3 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 7.5953
4 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 8.9909
5 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 10.3455
6 79 David Malukas BN Racing 13.6080
7 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 16.4894
8 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 62.8849
9 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing -2 LAPS

Indy Lights at Road America – Saturday – VeeKay wins second straight pole – Norman starts on outside of front row for 3rd straight race

By Steve Wittich

Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay), with a lap of 113.562 seconds, won his second straight Indy Lights pole at Road America. It’s the Juncos Racing rookie’s third straight Indy Lights road course pole and his 10th career Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires pole.

The pole is the third in the last four Indy Lights races by a Juncos Racing pilot.

Ryan Norman will start on the outside of the front row of an Indy Lights race for the third straight race, and fourth time in nine races so far this season.

Qualifying for the second Indy Lights race of the weekend followed a 40-minute Radical Cup Race.

With ten minutes remaining in the session, Aaron Telitz was the quickest driver with a lap that was timed 114.4421 seconds. Right after he grabbed the provisional pole, the Badger State driver came to pit road for adjustments and his second set of Cooper Tire slicks.

Teltiz’s teammate Kohl, along with Toby Sowery, Oliver and Dalton Kellett joined Telitz as drivers on pit road before the half-way point of the 30-minute qualifying session.

It was still Telitz that held the provisional pole when at the half-way point of the session. His quickest lap was 0.3224 quicker than Askew, who was joined in the top five by Robert Megennis, VeeKay, and Kohl. All nine cars were on pit-road at that point.

The K-Line Insulators USA sponsored No. 67 of Dalton Kellett was the first driver to head back out on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course in an attempt to improve on his eighth starting spot.

Askew, Megennis, and VeeKay were still on pit-road with ten minutes remaining in the qualifying session, but it got back out on track quickly.

The first driver to jump up the timing screens was Kellett, who moved up to third. Kellett went quicker yet on his next lap, moving to within three-tenths of a second Telitz.

Telitz on his 7th lap of the session reset the quickest lap at 114.2451.

With seven minutes remaining, Toby Sowery moved up to third quickest.

Telitz lowered the provisional pole time to 113.7797 seconds.

With four minutes left in the session, yesterday’s pole winner VeeKay and outside pole sitter Norman both took shots at Teltiz but came up just short on their first hot laps.

VeeKay went even quicker on his second hot lap on his fresh Cooper Tire slicks, moving to the provisional pole with a lap that was two-tenths ahead of Telitz.

Norman was also able to go quicker than Telitz on his final hot lap by a slim margin of five-thousandths. He told IndyCar Radio that he made a mistake at the beginning of his quickest lap.

With two minutes remaining in the session, Toby Sowery ended up nosing his Gap Guard/Rich Energy No. 2 into the tire barriers on the outside of Turn 14. That ended any chance of drivers having the opportunity to go quicker.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by AER qualifying #2 unofficial results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:53.562 –.—- 11
2 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:53.775 0.2122 12
3 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 1:53.780 0.2172 10
4 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:53.979 0.4161 11
5 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:54.324 0.7614 12
6 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:54.560 0.9971 13
7 79 David Malukas BN Racing 1:54.589 1.0266 12
8 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 1:54.739 1.1763 11
9 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:54.832 1.2697 12

Today’s 20-lap Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER is scheduled to see the green flag at 1:50 pm.

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Indy Lights at Road America – 2019 – Friday – VeeKay dominates qualifying

Juncos Racing and Rinus VeeKay picked right up where they left off the last time Indy Lights was on a road course. The Dutchman started on pole in that race and drove to a 6.8849-second victory.

The rookie ended up almost three-tenths ahead Ryan Norman, who is going to start on the outside of the front row.

It’s the second time that VeeKay will start on the pole this year, and his ninth career Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires pole.

The top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder was the last of three qualifying sessions in a one hour and 20-minute span.

The first two sessions were 20-minutes, but the Indy Lights drivers were afforded 30-minutes to set a quick lap.

The early leader was Rinus VeeKay, who was also leading at the half-way point of the half-hour session, with a lap of 115.0242 seconds. He was followed by Robert Megennis, Oliver Askew, Ryan Norman, and Dalton Kellett in the top five. Those five drivers were all within a half-second of VeeKay.

The Belardi Auto Racing duo of Aaron Telitz and Lucas Kohl were the first drivers to head back out on fresh Cooper Tire slicks.

The Andretti Autosport crew of Askew was able to get his Index Invest sponsored No. 28 repaired after his contact with the tire barriers on drivers right at the exit of Turn 14. And, the Jupiter, Fla. native was the first driver to knock VeeKay from the provisional pole.

The current points leader’s time at the top of the timing screens was short. His chief rival VeeKay grabbed the provisional pole a few moments later and went even quicker on his next lap, a full six-tenths ahead of the rest of the field.

The only driver to even make a dent in the reigning Indy Pro 2000’s provisional pole lap was Norman, whose lap at 114.054 seconds.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by AER Indy Lights Qualifying #1 Results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE
1 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:54.054 –.—-
2 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:54.309 0.2553
3 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:54.698 0.6444
4 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:54.711 0.6573
5 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:54.873 0.8193
6 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 1:55.070 1.0163
7 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:55.799 1.7451
8 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 1:55.848 1.7939
9 79 David Malukas BN Racing 1:55.858 1.8043

The first Indy Lights race is at 1:50 pm on Saturday, and they are back on track tomorrow morning for qualifying at 10:15 am.

Indy Lights at Road America – 2019 – Friday – VeeKay and Telitz quickest – by quite a bit – in Indy Lights practice

Rinus VeeKay, who has a pair of USF2000 wins at Road America, was the quickest driver in a disjointed Indy Lights practice session.

Belardi Auto Racing veteran Aaron Telitz was the only driver within one second of the Dutchman’s lap of 114.9558 seconds.

Andretti Autosport rookie Robert Megennis was the third quickest driver, with the next five drivers all within a half-second of the Juncos Racing rookie.

The first and only Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires started promptly at 10:05 am as the nine AER/Dallara IL-15’s took to the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course.

The ambient temperature was comfortable 68F, and the track temperature was 86F.

At the 15 minute point of the 45-minute session, the leader, with a lap of 114.9958 seconds, was Rinus VeeKay.

The first red flag of the session came out with 25-minutes remaining when the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing machine of Lucas Kohl came to a stop on track at the exit of The Carousel (Turn 10).

The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to flat-tow him back to pit-lane, and the green flag came back out 17-minutes remaining.

Points leader Oliver Askew brought out the second red flag of the session with just over 10 minutes remaining. The No. 28 spun at the exit of Turn 14, taking out a Firestone advertising sandwich board, and ended up in the tires on driver’s left just before pit-in.

Askew told IndyCar radio that he lost it on the curb on the outside of Turn 14 and backed it into the tires.

He was able to get his Andretti Autosport car restarted and drive back to pit road. The damage was enough that he wasn’t ready to head back out.

The green flag came back out with eight minutes remaining, and the only driver to improve on his time in the final few minutes was David Malukas.

Toby Sowery was not able to turn any laps at speed, only turning four laps in total. The No. 2 BN Racing team was furiously working on an issue on the right front of the car with the driver complaining of slack in the steering. The fourth-place driver was able to get on track to complete a single out lap to test the team’s fix.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by AER Indy Lights Practice Results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 21 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 1:54.996 –.—- 15
2 4 Aaron Telitz Belardi Auto Racing 1:55.161 0.1649 14
3 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:56.004 1.0084 16
4 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:56.160 1.1640 14
5 67 Dalton Kellett Juncos Racing 1:56.193 1.1974 14
6 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:56.295 1.2991 14
7 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:56.390 1.3943 9
8 79 David Malukas BN Racing 1:56.590 1.5937 12
9 2 Toby Sowery BN Racing/Team Pelfrey 2:09.823 14.8268 5

The top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires qualifies at 2:05 pm this afternoon.

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Indy Lights at Road America preview – An entertaining title battle heads north – BN Racing adds engineer with championship pedigree – Telitz returns

By Steve Wittich

If you aren’t paying attention to the battle for the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires and the three-race NTT IndyCar Series deal that goes to the winner, you should be.

Over the past five races, rivals Oliver Askew and Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) have swapped the top spot three times, with Askew seizing an 11-point lead after an exciting Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires.

After three-weekend off, the top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder makes the trip north to Elkhart Lake, Wisc. and Road America for the eighth and ninth races on the 18-race calendar.

With three great passing zones, the Indy Lights action at Road America is always entertaining (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

The doubleheader will be the 11th and 12th Indy Lights races on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course, including six in the past three seasons. What was then known as the American Racing Series visited Road America in the series inaugural season in1986. Mike Groff crossed the line ahead of Jeff Andretti to win his second of seven career Indy Lights races.

The series visited the iconic circuit three more times over the next four years before taking a quarter-of-a-century hiatus between 1990 and 2016.

There have been no repeat winners in the six races since the series returned and drivers representing five different teams – Andretti Autosport, Belardi Auto Racing, Carlin (twice), Juncos and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports have all climbed to the top step of the podium.

Previous Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires at Road America

YEAR DRIVER TEAM
2018 Race #2 Victor Franzoni Juncos Racing
2018 Race #1 Colton Herta Andretti Autosport
2017 Race #2 Zachary Claman DeMelo Carlin
2017 Race #1 Matheus Leist Carlin
2016 Race #2 Santi Urrutia Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
2016 Race #1 Zach Veach Belardi Auto Racing
1990 Paul Tracy Landford Racing
1989 Tommy Byrne Landford Racing
1988 Juan Fangio II Leading Edge Racing Team
1986 Mike Groff Groff Motorsports

Askew and VeeKay have both made four previous Road To Indy starts at Road America with very different results.

In 30 Road To Indy starts before this season, Askew had failed to finish in the top five on nine occasions with three of those coming at Road America. The 22-year-old’s lone podium in four races was a third-place finish in the second USF2000 race in 2018. It was that same year in the first race that Askew had a camber shim work loose, leading to a 17th place finish, his worst in 37 Road To Indy starts.

Even though his past results at Road America aren’t overly encouraging, the Jupiter, Fla. has momentum on his side; winning the last race and scoring 25 more points than VeeKay in the previous five races.

The 2017 USF2000 champion has also collected the most points in the four natural terrain road course races at Circuit of The Americas and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

2019 Indy Lights Natural Terrain Road Course Race Points

RANK DRIVER POINTS
1 Oliver Askew – R 111
2 Rinus VeeKay – R 98
3 Robert Megennis – R 98
4 Toby Sowery – R 63
5 Ryan Norman 60
6 Zachary Claman 67
7 David Malukas – R 63
8 Dalton Kellett 51
9 Lucas Kohl – R 51
10 Julien Falchero – R 36

VeeKay also comes to Road America with a positive mindset. The first two wins of the Dutch driver’s dozen career Road To Indy trips to victory lane came at the central Wisconsin circuit in 2017. Also, Juncos Racing, with Victor Franzoni at the wheel won the last Indy Lights race last year.

Juncos Racing was lacking some pace earlier in the season but appeared to find something for Sunday’s feature race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The 18-year-old VeeKay started on the pole and scored the quickest race lap on the way to a dominating 6.88-second victory.

Covered by only 30 points, Robert Megennis, Toby Sowery, Ryan Norman and David Malukas will need to start finishing ahead of the leading pair if they want to enter the championship conversation. With only 39.5% of the possible points allotted so far, there is still time for this quartet to make a play for the scholarship.

Robert Megennis had scored two early podiums during his 2016 USF2000 rookie campaign, but the first time I really took note of New Yorker’s potential was during a 14th to seventh place drive in a USF2000 series race.

Megennis was down to being a single Team Pelfrey entry meaning the then just turned 16-year-old would be on his own to find the quickest set-ups. When I talked with Megennis before the weekend began, he was relishing the opportunity to learn how to work on his own. His positive attitude stood out then as it does now.

The 19-year-old will be making his seventh and eighth starts at Road America and should have no issues improving on a best finish of seventh.

Currently, 51-points out of the championship lead is Toby Sowery. Not bad for a driver that was only signed to a one-event deal to start the season.

The 22-year-old has previous experience at Road America and will also have multi-championship winning Indy Lights engineer on board to help develop the Team Pelfrey/BN Racing’s pair of AER/Dallara IL-15s.

The Cambridge, England native finished second in both Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires races at Road America last year while partnered with David Malukas at BN Racing.

Veteran Road To Indy engineer Geoff Fickling will be joining the rookie Indy Lights team for the remainder of the season, giving the two quick drivers and team owner Bryn Nuttall an experienced engineer to lean on.

Geoff Fickling, on the right, will be joining BN Racing for the remainder of the 2019 Indy Lights season (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Fickling was the race engineer for three of the last six Indy Lights champions, Sage Karam in 2013, Gabby Chaves in 2014, and Ed Jones in 2016, before moving up to engineer Max Chilton in the NTT IndyCar Series last year. The Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grad was an unfortunate casualty of Carlin having a pair of cars fail to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500.

After a forgettable “Month of May,” Malukas heads to a track that should help him get his rookie season back ‘on track.’ The 17-year-old has two wins, three poles, three podiums and led all four Road To Indy starts that he had made on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course.

“After our setbacks in Indianapolis, I am excited to be heading back to a track where I have had great success in the past,” exclaimed Malukas. “I think it will be a great way for me to get my confidence back and hopefully make up some points in the overall championship.”

Andretti Autosport veteran Norman led the most laps in the Freedom 100, just missing out on his second career win, but at the same time moving two spots forward to fifth place in the championship hunt. Norman is one of four drivers that has completed all 220 laps this season but will need to start finishing those races on the podium to drag himself back into championship contention.

VeeKay wasn’t the only Juncos Racing driver to have increased pace on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Veteran Dalton Kellett was within shouting distance of his teammate in both race and qualifying pace. Saturday’s first race will be the veteran’s tenth Road To Indy start at Road America and following his top five in the Freedom 100 with a pair of top-five finishes would be considered a good result.

One of the other four drivers get maximum seat time so far in 2019 is Lucas Kohl, who is one of the other four drivers to complete every lap. The Brazilan who made the tough jump to Indy Lights directly from Indy Lights has shown he can complete races; now it’s time for the Roberto Moreno mentored driver to show he has the pace to compete for the top five.

With two previous podiums, Road America is just the track for 21-year-old Belardi Auto Racing rookie to ‘go for it.’

Teaming with Kohl at Belardi Auto Racing this weekend will be Aaron Telitz, an experienced home state shoe looking to add a pair of wins to his Road To Indy career total of 10. The Rice Lake, Wisc. native made a surprise start in the Freedom 100 presented by Cooper Tires, the 80th of his career across all three rungs of the ladder.

In six previous Road To Indy starts at his home circuit, the 27-year-old has two wins, two poles, three podiums, and five top-five finishes.


Other Indy Lights notes

  • How close is the competition in Indy Lights right now? All nine drivers in the second race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course had their quickest race laps within seven-tenths, and the top seven were within three- tenths of a second of VeeKay’s fastest lap.
  • Colton Herta and Zach Veach are the two Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires winners in Sunday’s REV Group Grand Prix At Road America.
  • The only Indy Lights race winner across the ten races held at Road America to win the title occurred 29 years ago when Paul Tracy won both. There have been six races in the last three seasons, and none of the eventual champions won at the iconic road course.
  • Zach Veach (2016 Race #1) and Matheus Leist (2017 Race #2) are the only drivers in ten races to win from the pole. The driver who has started on the outside of the front row has won six times. The average starting spot of the winner in the IL-15 era is 2.2.
  • The pole sitter has only finished on the podium ins four of ten races and four times has finished outside of the top ten.
  • Andretti Autosport leads all teams with five podiums, but Belardi Auto Racing and Juncos Racing are right there with four podiums each.
  • The last time there was a caution in an Indy Lights race at Road America was during race #2 in 2016, a streak that is at 92 laps and counting.
  • At just over 3,600 feet long, the Moraine Sweep a run downhill from Turn 3 through a forest to Turn 5 is one of the quickest spots (not on an oval) that the drivers will experience all year. Victor Franzoni’s trap speed just before Turn 5 in Race #1 last year was 176.029 mph.

Race weekend basics

Race name: Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER

Race #1 length: 20 laps or 50 minutes
Race #2 length: 20 laps or 50 minutes

Qualifying Record: 112.0034 seconds by Colton Herta in 2017
Race Record: 113.0138 seconds by Zachary Claman in 2017

Each entry can utilize four new sets of Cooper Tire slicks. No carryover tires are allowed.

Each driver will have 20 activations of the 50 horsepower push to pass (PTP), with each activation lasting 10 seconds.

PTP is not functional during starts and restarts, and a driver must be within 1.5 seconds of the car ahead of them for the system to become active

Drivers failing to slow at least 15% in a timing sector with a local yellow will be subject to a two-place grid spot penalty.

Drivers who fail to heed the checkered flag at the end of a session will receive a two-grid spot penalty.

To avoid a red flag and penalty (see below) during qualifying, you must park your disabled vehicle in a safe area (determined by the race director)

Causing one red flag will result in a driver losing their fastest lap.

Causing a second red flag will wipe out all of drivers laps, and they will not be able to leave pit road for the remainder of the session.

Driver points are distributed as follows: 30 – 25 – 22 – 19 – 17 – 15 -14 – 13 – 12 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – an additional one point will be awarded to the pole sitter, and to the driver who leads the most laps – note that no point is given for the quickest race lap because of the use of PTP.


Watch the 2018 Road America races:

Race #1

Race #2


Don’t miss any of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires action:

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