Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt McElrea makes it to the top again in St. Pete in Indy Lights practice

McElrea makes it to the top again in St. Pete in Indy Lights practice

by Ida Wood

Photo: IndyCar

Indy Lights poleman Hunter McElrea continued his strong Friday in St. Petersburg by going fastest in free practice two.

As in qualifying earlier in the day, he left it until the very end to set his fastest lap and go to the top of the times, setting a 1m05.7693s to usurp HMD Motorsports’ Danial Frost by the slim margin of 0.0962 seconds.

Frost had been on top prior to a red flag stoppage that split the half-hour session into two, and remained there until almost the point the chequered flag was waved.

Ernie Francis Jr’s messy series debut with Force Indy continued as he was the cause of the red flag, making contact with the barriers at turn 12. That meant he only completed 10 laps, less than anyone else, but did go faster than two other drivers and was only 1.42s off the pace in what is a dense learning weekend for himself and the team.

McElrea had twice topped the timesheet early on, although laptimes were 1.5s slower than what they would be by the end of the session.

He was first usurped by Andretti Autosport team-mate Christian Rasmussen and Global Racing Group with HMD’s Benjamin Pedersen, then responded to their increased pace before Frost then went fastest before the red flag interruption.

Frost and team-mate Linus Lundqvist ended FP2 in second and third, with Pedersen shuffled down to fourth ahead of Andretti’s Matthew Brabham who was another to improve at the very end.

Free practice results

Pos Name Team Time Gap Laps
1 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1m05.7693s 17
2 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 1m05.8655s +0.0962s 15
3 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 1m06.0056s +0.2363s 16
4 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 1m06.1055s +0.3362s 16
5 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1m06.1678s +0.3985s 17
6 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m06.2174s +0.4481s 17
7 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 1m06.2226s +0.4533s 14
8 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 1m06.3766s +0.6073s 17
9 Manuel Sulaiman HMD Motorsports 1m06.4843s +0.7150s 14
10 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed 1m06.5756s +0.8063s 15
11 James Roe Jr TJ Speed 1m06.7291s +0.9598s 17
12 Ernie Francis Jr Force Indy 1m07.1893s +1.4200s 10
13 Antonio Serravalle Abel Motorsports 1m07.7730s +2.0037s 16
14 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m07.8800s +2.1107s 12