Home Featured Indy Nxt points leader Rasmussen sets Portland practice pace

Indy Nxt points leader Rasmussen sets Portland practice pace

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Karl Zemlin

 HMD Motorsports’ Christian Rasmussen set the pace in Indy Nxt practice at Portland. 

The championship leader jumped to the top of the times late on with a 1m02.8194s lap, comfortably knocking Louis Foster from the top spot. 

Even later improvements from Kyffin Simpson and Hunter McElrea meant Rasmussen finished the session with an advantage of 0.1751 seconds at the top of the order. 

Rasmussen had set the pace early on, but soon dropped down the order as others got into a rhythm on the short circuit. McElrea and Simpson both took turns in first place, rarely seperated by more than a few tenths of a second. 

Andretti Autosport driver Foster moved ahead midway through the session and would stay there until almost the end, gradually lowering his best time. At one point, his fastest lap was more than half a second quicker than anyone else’s, but tean-mate McElrea was soon able to come to within 0.1 seconds of him. 

Foster was unable to answer Rasmussen’s late improvement and slipped down to fourth, behind Simpson and McElrea, but ahead of Abel Motorsports’ Jacob Abel.

A flurry of late improvements put Reece Gold sixth, ahead of Nolan Siegel and Christian Bogle. Josh Pierson and Danial Frost completed the top 10.

Yuven Sundaramoorthy, competing in his second Indy Nxt event, jumped up to third before the late flurry of improvements and then dropped back down to 11th place. He marginally outqualified Victor Franzoni, another series returnee and driving for Juncos Hollinger Racing.  

It was a relatively incident-free session which ran green throughout. A few drivers suffered spins as they pushed the limits, including Ernie Francis Jr, but none ran into significant problems while on track. 

Off-track, Jagger Jones once again ran into issues, this time with an engine problem limiting his running to just 18 laps compared to the 27 of Rasmussen. 

Free practice results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Christian Rasmussen HMD Motorsports 1m02.8194s 27
2 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 1m02.9945s +0.1751s 30
3 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1m03.0333s +0.2139s 25
4 Louis Foster Andretti Autosport 1m03.0517s +0.2323s 25
5 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m03.1108s +0.2914s 28
6 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m03.1791s +0.3597s 27
7 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports 1m03.2275s +0.4081s 32
8 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 1m03.4470s +0.6276s 27
9 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m03.4919s +0.6725s 30
10 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m03.5330s +0.7136s 32
11 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorports 1m03.5683s +0.7489s 30
12 Victor Franzoni Juncos Racing 1m03.5970s +0.7776s 28
13 Ernie Francis Jr HMD Motorsports 1m03.7648s +0.9454s 30
14 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Autosport 1m03.9749s +1.1555s 25
15 Matthew Brabham Juncos Racing 1m04.0398s +1.2204s 27
16 James Roe Jr Andretti Autosport 1m04.1153s +1.2959s 24
17 Jagger Jones Cape Motorsports 1m04.7450s +1.9256s 18