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
|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|