Indy Pro 2000 champion Louis Foster took his maiden IndyNxt victory in a rain-hit race at Mid-Ohio.
Foster overtook long-time race leader Christian Rasmussen as the rain began to fall, managing to make the move stick despite a significant lock-up.
The Andretti Autosport driver then managed a safety car restart on his way to the victory.
It was Rasmussen who led through the majority of the race. After an early safety car, brought out by a spin for Daniel Frost, he began edging away from second placed Foster. Another safety car, this time for a beached Christian Bogle, brought Foster back onto his tail, but Foster couldn’t stick with Rasmussen on the restart.
Rasmussen stretched a lead of more than two seconds over the rest of the field before the rain began to fall. The conditions were slippery, but not enough for wet weather tyres. A mistake from Rasmussen allowed Foster and Kyffin Simpson to close in on the race leader. Foster swept around the outside of Rasmussen, kicking up spray as he did so, and stormed into the race lead.
There was late race drama when championship leader Nolan Siegel lost control of his car and span over the grass. He kept the car out of the barriers but needed assistance to get restarted. Siegel had been running in the top five but plummeted to the back of the order. Despite the poor result, he leaves the weekend at the top of the championship standings, though his gap has significantly narrowed.
On the restart, Rasmussen came under attack from Kyffin Simpson, who soon took second. Rasmussen didn’t have to defend against fourth place Hunter McElrea, as McElrea was himself under attack from Reece Gold.
Foster and Simpson broke away from the rest of the field in the tail end of the race. Foster was just 0.4385s ahead of Simpson, though Simpson never looked close enough to attempt an overtake. Rasmussen was a further four seconds back.
McElrea held off Gold to finish fourth, while Jacob Abel and Rasmus Lindh finished close behind in sixth and seventh.
Josh Pierson closed onto the back of Enaam Ahmed late on, but couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for ninth, ahead of Jamie Chadwick who completed the top 10.
|1||Louis Foster||Andretti Autosport||35 laps|
|2||Kyffin Simpson||HMD Motorsports||+0.4385s|
|3||Christian Rasmussen||HMD Motorsports||+4.4992s|
|4||Hunter McElrea||Andretti Autosport||+5.1019s|
|5||Reece Gold||HMD Motorsports||+5.3689s|
|6||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||+5.8216s|
|7||Rasmus Lindh||Juncos Hollinger Racing||+5.9882s|
|8||Enaam Ahmed||Cape Motorsports||+8.3002s|
|9||Josh Pierson||HMD Motorsports||+8.6367s|
|10||Jamie Chadwick||Andretti Autosport||+9.6475s|
|11||Danial Frost||HMD Motorsports||+10.0036s|
|12||James Roe Jr||Andretti Autosport||+10.7948s|
|13||Ernie Francis Jr||HMD Motorsports||+11.4149s|
|14||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||+36.0435s|
|15||Nolan Siegel||HMD Motorsports||+1 lap|
|16||Christian Bogle||HMD Motorsports||+16 laps|
|17||Matteo Nannini||Juncos Hollinger Racing||+20 laps|
|Fastest lap: Rasmussen, 1m12.9448s|