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Andretti Autosport leads new team influx at MRTI Chris Griffis test

by Ida Wood

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Ryan Norman led an Andretti Autosport one-two in the Mazda Road to Indy’s Chris Griffis Memorial Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Norman topped the Indy Lights segment by 0.0725 seconds from Pro Mazda graduate Oliver Askew, who was fastest in one of the six sessions.

Victor Franzoni was third fastest overall, switching from Juncos Racing to Belardi Auto Racing. He topped the first two sessions and wad third in the third, before handing the car over to Pro Mazda race-winner David Malukas.

Robert Megennis was fourth fastest in the third Andretti car, just 0.1466s off the best time of the two day test.

Rinus VeeKay, the final winner of the Mazda scholarship to Indy Lights was fifth for Juncos, and the last driver to set frontrunning pace. Ten drivers took part, with the most notable entrant being Pro Mazda runner-up Parker Thompson, who ran with the returning Team Pelfrey squad.

The Pro Mazda pack was less closely packed, with Darren Keane going fastest for RP Motorsport by 0.1041s. Juncos’s Danial Frost and Rasmus Lindh were closely matched for second, while Julian Van der Watt was fourth for BN Racing.

The top four were all USF2000 graudates, with scholarship winner Kyle Kirkwood absent due to Formula 3 Americas committments, but fifth place went to Indy Lights driver Franzoni, the 2017 championship returning to test for new team Turn 3 Motorsport. He topped two of the sessions.

Mathias Soler-Obel, 21st in USF2000 this year, was sixth for RP Motorsport. Australian F3, Formula 4 and Formula 4 regular Cameron Shields was seventh for Juncos, while IndyCar racer Jack Harvey turned in a surprise appearance for Pabst Racing down in 10th.

Australian FFord title contender Hunter McIlrea marked his first USF2000 appearance with the fastest time for Pabst. He and Keane, this time driving for Cape Motorsports, were unbeaten in every session, with their next closest rival being 2018 race-winner Alex Baron, driving for the new Legacy Autosport team.

James Raven was fourth for DEForce Racing, ahead of Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst), Andre Castro (Legacy), Zach Holden, with the debuting Jay Howard’s Motorsports Driver Development team, and Tyler O’Connor (Cape).