Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt Louis Foster tops FP1 in Detroit as Ricardo Escotto joins Indy Nxt grid

Louis Foster tops FP1 in Detroit as Ricardo Escotto joins Indy Nxt grid

by Ida Wood

Photo: IndyCar

Louis Foster was fastest in Indy Nxt’s opening practice session in Detroit, as Ricardo Escotto joined the field.

Juncos Hollinger Racing has signed Escotto for five races, starting with this weekend. He will also contest the Laguna Seca double-header and the final two races at the Milwaukee Mile and Nashville Superspeedway.

The 19-year-old Mexican was 13th in USF Pro 2000 last year with one win and is currently in the same position in the 2024 standings halfway through the season.

While Escotto has joined the Indy Nxt grid, Abel Motorsports’ Jordan Missig has left it after debuting in the previous round.

The 45-minute Friday practice session began with Jacob Abel (Abel) setting the pace, a 1m16.5492s putting him 1.3276 seconds ahead of Reece Gold (HMD Motorsports).

On his second lap he improved to 1m13.3971s, with Myles Rowe (HMD) 0.1414s and Gold 0.1895s behind.

Gold lowered the pace to 1m11.9848s on the third laps, leading Rowe by 0.0423s and with Andretti Global’s Bryce Aron 0.5307s behind in third. Aron then moved to the top on his next lap, setting a 1m10.8873s. Jamie Chadwick made it an Andretti one-two, Rowe was third fastest and HMD’s Callum Hedge rose to fourth.

Foster was yet to set a flying lap, and when the Andretti driver eventually did he went fourth fastest. Gold improved on his sixth lap to 1m10.2589s, topping the times by 0.1086s over Abel and 0.5632s over Siegel. HMD’s Caio Collet got into third place with his fourth lap, then was demoted to sixth as Foster, Abel and Gold broke into the 1m09s.

Chadwick got within 0.3651s of Foster with her seventh lap, but her team-mate responded with a 1m08.6636s. Abel then got between them, but was 0.7861s off Foster’s benchmark a quarter of the way into the session.

Siegel cut Foster’s advantage to 0.4275s, only for Foster to lower the pace further to 1m07.9150s. Chadwick returned to second place with a 1m08.5587s, then Abel and James Roe Jr knocked her down to fourth.

Eventually Fosyer was rivalled by Andretti Cape’s Michael d’Orlando, who was 0.0519s slower than him, then others were denied a chance to improve as red flags waved briefly.

After the restart there were no changes in the top positions before another stoppage caused by Juncos’s Lindsay Brewer locking up and crashing at turn one.

On his third lap after the second restart, Foster set a new 1m07.7337s benchmark. D’Orlando impoved to 1m07.7603s, but then Foster did even better with a 1m07.4846s.

With 12-and-a-half minutes remaining, Roe beat Foster’s best by 0.0026s. Siegel then went 0.2018s faster than him, and with nine minutes to go Collet reduced Siegel’s advantage to 0.1993s.

Abel’s Yuven Sundaramoorthy caused the next red flag period by stopping late in the lap, and in the final portion of track action Foster posted an unbeatable 1m06.8356s. Siegel improved, but trailed by 0.4157s and Abel was 0.5253s back in third when FP1 ended with Aron crashing.

HMD’s Josh Pierson only did 14 laps due to suspension issues.

Free practice 1 results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Louis Foster Andretti Global 1m06.8356s 20
2 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports 1m07.2513s +0.4157s 30
3 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsport 1m07.3609s +0.5253s 23
4 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports 1m07.4695s +0.6339s 25
5 James Roe Jr Andretti Global 1m07.4820s +0.6464s 26
6 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports 1m07.6234s +0.7878s 25
7 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m07.6576s +0.8220s 28
8 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape 1m07.7603s +0.9247s 26
9 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports 1m07.8677s +1.0321s 26
10 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m08.2402s +1.4046s 29
11 Salvador de Alba Andretti Cape 1m08.2671s +1.4315s 23
12 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global 1m08.5587s +1.7231s 24
13 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorsports 1m08.6691s +1.8335s 28
14 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports 1m08.6952s +1.8596s 22
15 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Racing 1m08.9408s +2.1052s 24
16 Bryce Aron Andretti Global 1m08.9455s +2.1099s 23
17 Ricardo Escotto Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m09.1847s +2.3491s 26
18 Nolan Allaer HMD Motorsports 1m09.2228s +2.3872s 24
19 Niels Koolen HMD Motorsports 1m09.6430s +2.8074s 26
20 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m10.5757s +3.7401s 14
21 Lindsay Brewer Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m14.4371s +7.6015s 12