Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt Kirkwood claims pole for Indy Lights race one at Laguna Seca

Kirkwood claims pole for Indy Lights race one at Laguna Seca

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography / Road to Indy

Kyle Kirkwood will start Indy Lights’ first race of the weekend at Laguna Seca from pole position, after dominating Friday qualifying.

The Andretti Autosport driver already set the pace in the early stages of the session with a 1m15.6009s lap, the first one of the weekend to break the 1m16s barrier.

Linus Lundqvist, Devlin DeFrancesco, Danial Frost and David Malukas exchanged the rest of top five positions, but none of them could clock a lap within half a second of Kirkwood’s fastest.

All the drivers came into the pitlane with 15 minutes to go, in order to make some changes in the car that allowed them to improve their benchmarks.

Kirkwood was the first to go back out again. The American had already bettered his previous laptime two times before he put in a 1m15.0235s, which was unbeatable for the rest of the field.

Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports’ Linus Lundqvist and HMD’s main team entry David Malukas were able to close up before Kirkwood’s blistering final lap. The pair will line up second and third respectively in tomorrow’s race.

Behind them, Lundqvist’s team-mate Benjamin Pedersen surprised in fourth, with Danial Frost following him in fifth.

Rasmus Lindh took sixth place for Juncos Hollinger Racing ahead of Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport’s DeFrancesco.

The Canadian could only manage to qualify seventh despite being in the top five in the first half of the session and leading practice in the morning.

Qualifying results

Pos Name Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1m15.0235s 16
2 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/ HMD 1m15.4015s +0.3780s 17
3 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1m15.4821s +0.4586s 16
4 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 1m15.5815s +0.5580s 14
5 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1m15.5953s +0.5718s 18
6 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m15.9109s +0.8874s 17
7 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1m16.0095s +0.9860s 17
8 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1m16.1641s +1.1406s 15
9 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 1m16.6593s +1.6358s 16
10 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m16.7524s +1.7289s 16
11 Christian Bogle Carlin w/ JHDD 1m17.0608s +2.0373s 17