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DeFrancesco fastest on Indy Lights’ Laguna Seca return

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

Devlin DeFrancesco was the driver to beat in free practice for this weekend’s Indy Lights double-header at Laguna Seca.

The Canadian was on top for most of Friday’s single session, with his fastest lap coming two third of the way through the allotted time.

He set a few more laps after that, but like most of the 11-car field he then headed to the pits until the last runs began.

Andretti stablemate Kyle Kirkwood was just 0.0098 seconds slower than DeFrancesco, also setting his personal best fairly early on and then being unable to improve afterwards as the track got warmer.

Rasmus Lindh was third fastest for Juncos Hollinger Racing on what is his second Indy Lights appearance, while the recent dominance of the HMD Motorsports stable looks like it might not continue at Laguna Seca as the title-battling David Malukas and Linus Lundqvist were both a third of a second off the pace in what is usually a very tightly spread field.

The only two drivers more than a second slower than DeFrancesco were Manuel Sulaiman, who like Lindh is a mid-season addition to the grid, and Carlin’s Christian Bogle.

Qualifying takes place later on Friday and will be a half-hour session.

Free practice results

Pos Name Team Time Gap Laps
1 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1m16.3604s 19
2 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1m16.3702s +0.0098s 20
3 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m16.6349s +0.2745s 22
4 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1m16.7028s +0.3424s 25
5 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/ HMD 1m16.7132s +0.3528s 24
6 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1m16.8254s +0.4650s 23
7 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 1m16.8755s +0.5151s 24
8 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1m17.1289s +0.7685s 22
9 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m17.3315s +0.9711s 22
10 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 1m17.5328s +1.1724s 25
11 Christian Bogle Carlin w/ JHDD 1m18.4679s +2.1075s 27