Home Featured Abel lays down a marker in Indy Nxt FP1 at Barber Motorsports Park

Abel lays down a marker in Indy Nxt FP1 at Barber Motorsports Park

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Owens

Abel Motorsports’ Jacob Abel set an ominously fast pace in the first Indy Nxt practice session at Barber Motorsports Park.

He was on top for much of the 45-minute session, and ended it with a gap of 0.5158 seconds to second place.

Most drivers went a run of several laps early on that ended with a push lap where they tried to improve their pace, and after 15 minutes it was Abel who led the way with a 1m13.1028s.

HMD Motorsports duo Reece Gold and Caio Collet were both within 0.2s of him, with Andretti Global’s James Roe Jr 0.2957s behind in fourth. All four were in the pits a third of the way through FP1, with drivers who had started their first runs later than them still out on track but unable to get near their pace.

Roe and HMD’s Nolan Siegel knocked Abel down to third when they headed out on their second runs, with Roe setting a 1m12.8750s and Siegel going just 0.0205s slower than him.

Callum Hedge left the pits for the first time in the session’s second half, with a potential battery issue in his HMD-run car the cause of his absence prior to that.

There was drama with 13 minutes to go as Andretti’s Louis Foster came to a stop on track with an electrical problem. That led to red flags being waved, and action did not restart until the final six-and-a-half minutes.

Everyone bar Foster headed back out, and Abel lowered the pace by 0.4846s with just over three minutes left on the clock. Roe crossed the line not long after and could only reduce Abel’s advantage by 0.0026s.

HMD’s Myles Rowe went sixth fastest with one-and-a-half minutes left on the clock, but was a second off the pace, then Abel improved to 1m12.2001s with 48s to go.

Roe’s response brought the gap back down to 0.3147s, and HMD’s Josh Pierson got within 0.9424s of Abel in fourth.

Andretti Cape’s Michael d’Orland rose to sixth in the final 20s, then even more improvements came in after the chequered flag.

Abel – who was running used tyres on his final run – set a new 1m11.9990s benchmark, Andretti’s Bryce Aron went fourth fastest with a lap 1.116s off the pace, and team-mate Jamie Chadwick was just 0.0084s slower than him as she jumped to sixth.

Yuven Sundaramoorthy was last to cross the line and climbed to 10th place, 1.426s slower than his pace-setting team-mate.

Free practice 1 results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m11.9990s 20
2 James Roe Jr Andretti Global 1m12.5148s +0.5158s 23
3 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports 1m12.8955s +0.8965s 20
4 Bryce Aron Andretti Global 1m13.1150s +1.1160s 24
5 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m13.1425s +1.1435s 22
6 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global 1m13.2134s +1.2144s 21
7 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m13.2638s +1.2648s 22
8 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape 1m13.2696s +1.2706s 22
9 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports 1m13.2991s +1.3001s 18
10 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorsports 1m13.4250s +1.4260s 24
11 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports 1m13.4268s +1.4278s 20
12 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m13.5083s +1.5093s 19
13 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports 1m13.6087s +1.6097s 23
14 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Racing 1m13.6539s +1.6549s 21
15 Louis Foster Andretti Global 1m13.6736s +1.6746s 10
16 Salvador de Alba Andretti Cape 1m13.8135s +1.8145s 12
17 Josh Mason Abel Motorsports 1m14.1795s +2.1805s 25
18 Nolan Allaer HMD Motorsports 1m14.7450s +2.7460s 21
19 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports 1m14.8313s +2.8323s 15
20 Niels Koolen HMD Motorsports 1m15.0196s +3.0206s 23
21 Lindsay Brewer Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m16.8078s +4.8088s 23