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Lundqvist beats Pedersen by 0.02s in Barber Indy Lights qualifying

by Peter Allen

Photo: IndyCar

Linus Lundqvist and Benjamin Pedersen locked out the front row of the grid for HMD Motorsports in Indy Lights qualifying at Barber Motorsports Park, split by just two hundredths of a second.

Lundqvist led from pole on his Lights debut at Barber a year ago ahead of long-time team-mate Pedersen but wasn’t among the drivers trading top spot through the first half of qualifying.

Christian Rasmussen took several turns on top, taking it back from Andretti Autosport colleague Sting Ray Robb with a 1m12.6753s just before he joined the rest of the frontrunners in pitlane at the midway point.

After returning to the track on fresh tyres, Lundqvist went fastest six minutes to go, and his 1m12.5713s lap would prove unbeatable, securing him his first pole in more than 10 months.

Pedersen slotted into second place moments later, narrowly missing out on a maiden pole by just 0.0216 seconds.

Neither Rasmussen nor Robb looked set to improve on their second set of tyres until the latter’s very final attempt at the chequered flag moved him ahead and into third place by two thousandths of a second.

Hunter McElrea made an early improvement on his second set to take fifth for Andretti, as did Tyffin Simpson in sixth with TJ Speed.

After setting the pace in practice, Danial Frost ended up a long way back from his HMD team-mates in eighth despite improving with a couple of minutes to go. That was still ahead of St Petersburg winner Matthew Brabham, who followed eighth in practice with ninth in qualifying.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 1m12.5713s 18
2 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 1m12.5929s +0.0216s 18
3 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 1m12.6731s +0.1018s 15
4 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 1m12.6753s +0.1040s 16
5 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1m12.7964s +0.2251s 15
6 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed 1m12.8366s +0.2653s 16
7 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 1m12.8791s +0.3078s 18
8 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 1m12.9027s +0.3314s 18
9 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1m13.0507s +0.4794s 15
10 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m13.2174s +0.6461s 17
11 James Roe TJ Speed 1m13.4908s +0.9195s 19
12 Ernie Francis Jr Force Indy 1m13.5278s +0.9565s 18
13 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m13.6197s +1.0484s 17
14 Antonio Serravalle Abel Motorsports 1m14.0974s +1.5261s 17