Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt Foster fastest in first practice for Indy Nxt in St. Petersburg

Foster fastest in first practice for Indy Nxt in St. Petersburg

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: James Black

Louis Foster was top of the order at the end of the first practice session of the weekend, and the season, for Indy Nxt in St. Petersburg.

Two short red flag periods disrupted the 45-minute session as drivers got to grips with the Floridian street circuit.

The first incident came in the opening minutes, when Nolan Siegel ran up the escape road at turn one. The HMD Motorsports driver, who was top of the order after the opening laps, locked his brakes and ran into the barriers. The team later reported he had lost the brake lines. At the same time, championship newcomer Niels Koolen came to a stop on track.

When FP1 restarted the times began to tumble, only for red flags to be brought out again with 25 minutes left on the clock. This time Jamie Chadwick had found the wall at turn four after locking up on entry. She was the first of a number of drivers to get into trouble at the corner, with Foster later locking up there, but others managed to avoid touching the barriers.

There were just over 20 minutes left when the track turned green again, and there would be no more interruptions. Foster jumped to the top of the times as the first driver to lap sub-1m08s, and had brought the pace down to 1m05.7384s by the chequered flag.

There was an equally large scale of improvement through the rest of the field, and Andretti Cape’s last-minute signing Michael d’Orlando ended the session second fastest, 0.4297 seconds off Foster’s benchmark.

Caio Collet, another debut was third quickest ahead of Chadwick (who returned to track after a check of the nosecone), Jacob Abel and Siegel, who as also able to get back out after his off.

Reece Gold, Salvador de Alba, Josh Pierson, and Myles Rowe completed the top 10, all within a second of the pace. A transponder issue meant none of James Roe Jr’s laptimes appeared on the timesheet.

FP2 takes place on Saturday, with qualifying following four-and-a-half hours later.

Free practice 1 results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Louis Foster Andretti Global 1m05.7384s 19
2 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape 1m06.1681s +0.4297s 27
3 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports 1m06.2604s +0.5220s 28
4 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global 1m06.4073s +0.6689s 22
5 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m06.4207s +0.6823s 25
6 Nolan Sigel HMD Motorsports 1m06.5367s +0.7983s 17
7 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m06.6137s +0.8753s 23
8 Salvador de Alba Andretti Cape 1m06.6192s +0.8808s 28
9 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m06.6510s +0.9126s 28
10 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports 1m06.6646s +0.9262s 25
11 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m06.8381s +1.0997s 27
12 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports 1m06.9585s +1.2201s 25
13 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorsports 1m07.1347s +1.3963s 23
14 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports 1m07.1596s +1.4212s 25
15 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Racing 1m07.1998s +1.4614s 25
16 Josh Mason Abel Motorsports 1m07.5249s +1.7865s 27
17 Nolan Allaer HMD Motorsports 1m07.5272s +1.7888s 26
18 Bryce Aron Andretti Global 1m07.7060s +1.9676s 17
19 Lindsay Brewer Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m12.6430s +6.9046s 13
20 Niels Koolen HMD Motorsports 1m14.4198s +8.6814s 4
21 James Roe Jr Andretti Global no time