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Andretti and HMD drivers brimming with confidence after Gateway test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Jones

Indy Lights’ two top teams were closely matched in the pre-event test day at the Gateway oval ahead of this Saturday’s race.

Testing took place last Friday and featured 12 cars, with the TJ Speed team absent and James Roe Jr remaining with HMD Motorsports after moving to the team for the last round in Nashville. He is set to race for HMD again this weekend.

Fastest in both the morning and the afternoon session was HMD with Global Racing Group’s Benjamin Pedersen, who set a 28.0873s lap (with an average speed of 160.158mph) in the morning and then a 28.1326s best effort in the afternoon.

He was one of only three drivers to set their fastest lap in the earlier session, which was held in cooler and slightly grippier conditions, but his session-topping time from the afternoon was also good enough to put him number one overall for the day.

Pedersen described the opening action as a “great morning”, having gone fastest by just over a tenth of a second, then with his run plan in the afternoon felt he had “checked off a lot of items” ahead of the race weekend.

Andretti’s Christian Rasmussen was second fastest in the afternoon and overall, and despite doing 100 laps in the second session his best laptime came in the opening minutes of him being on track as his fourth lap ended up being his fastest.

Similarly, team-mate Sting Ray Robb set 99 laps but peaked on his seventh lap of the afternoon. Robb was ninth fastest overall.

“We’ve had a good day here, ended up second quicket overall and we just really have a really good car under us,” Rasmussen reflected. “I think we’re pretty good set for the race, so I’m looking forward to next weekend and ready to get after it.”

HMD’s Danial Frost was third fastest overall and like Pedersen set his fastest lap in the morning, with Hunter McElrea (Andretti), championship leader Linus Lundqvist (HMD) and Roe completing a top six covered by less than 0.15s.

Test results

Pos Driver Team Speed Gap Laps
1 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 160.158mph 181
2 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 159.525mph +0.1114s 186
3 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 159.451mph +0.1246s 156
4 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 159.387mph +0.1358s 144
5 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 159.322mph +0.1474s 221
6 Jame Roe Jr HMD Motorsports 159.308mph +0.1499s 145
7 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 158.968mph +0.2102s 152
8 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 158.897mph +0.2230s 186
9 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 158.859mph +0.2297s 174
10 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 157.836mph +0.4133s 203
11 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 157.569mph +0.4617s 209
12 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 155.645mph +0.8147s 263