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Indy Lights runs oval test at Iowa, Rasmussen fastest

by Ida Wood

Photo: Iowa Speedway

Indy Lights teams were getting ready for next month’s first oval race of the season at Iowa Speedway with a test at the circuit on Wednesday.

The day was split into a morning and afternoon session, with the overall pace set in session one by Andretti Autosport’s Christian Rasmussen who went to the top with his penultimate lap.

He was the only driver to record a sub-20 seconds lap, with his 19.9122s effort having an average speed of 161.167mph. Rasmussen was 0.1030s faster than team-mate Hunter McElrea in second place, with McElrea leading the way early on;

TJ Speed’s Kyffin Simpson set the most laps at 101, while Force Indy’s Ernie Francis Jr ran the least with only 37 laps on the board. However it was HMD Motorsports’ Antonio Serravalle who actually spent the longest time on track, as he spent over three hours doing test work.

Most drivers found pace at the very end of the session, with Andretti filling the top four positions as Matthew Brabham and Sting Ray Robb went third and fourth with their penultimate and last laps respectively.

McElrea, Brabham and Global Racing Group with HMD’s Benjamin Pedersen filled the top three places in the afternoon session and all improved on their morning pace by a tiny amount but were still short of Rasmussen’s earlier benchmark.

There was a 0.0173s gap between McElrea and Brabham, and McElrea was fastest from the vert start of the session until points leader Linus Lundqvist went on a run and moved into first place. Danial Frost then slotted into second to create a HMD one-two that lasted until after the two-and-a-half hour mark as Serravalle became Lundqvist’s closest rival on pace.

Going into the fourth hour of running there was a shake-up in the order, and McElrea and Pedersen improved by several tenths of a second to go to the top of the timesheet. Drivers couldn’t find more pace in the final hour, and so McElrea stayed on top until the end. Simpson once again set the most laps, 149, while Christian Bogle ran the least with just 66 laps on the board.

Test results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 19.9122s 199
2 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 20.0110s +0.0988s 192
3 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 20.0283s +0.1161s 221
4 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 20.1202s +0.2080s 197
5 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 20.1260s +0.2138s 167
6 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 20.1851s +0.2729s 216
7 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 20.2811s +0.3689s 171
8 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 20.3210s +0.4088s 207
9 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 20.3987s +0.4865s 121
10 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed 20.4299s +0.5177s 249
11 Antonio Serravalle HMD Motorsports 20.5272s +0.6150s 189
12 James Roe Jr TJ Speed 20.5361s +0.6239s 144
13 Ernie Francis Jr Force Indy 20.7705s +0.8583s 182