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Pedersen takes first Indy Lights pole, Lundqvist starts P4

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Travis Hinkle

Benjamin Pedersen took his first Indy Lights pole position at Portland as championship leader Linus Lundqvist qualified fourth.

Pedersen, who was quickest in both practice sessions, jumped to the top of the order early on and spent the remainder of the session improving his fastest lap.

By the chequered flag, Pedersen had managed a time of 1m03.6698s.

There was little drama throughout the session. An off at turn 11 for Sting Ray Robb scuppered his first flying lap and he came back to the pits as the rest of the field came in at the end of their first runs. It did little damage to his session overall, though, as it wasn’t long before Robb was topping the order.

Christian Rasmussen knocked Robb back down to second before Pedersen set the first lap in the 1m03s range.

Nobody else would top the order for the remainder of the session, and Pedersen finished more than 0.1s clear of P2.

A late improvement from Danial Frost put him second, ahead of Rasmussen and Lundqvist.

Robb was fifth by the chequered flag and finishes ahead of Matthew Brabham and Hunter McElrea, who were running together on track for most of the session.

Jacob Abel, Ernie Francis Jr and Kyffin Simpson completed the top 10.

Qualifying result
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD 1m03.6698s 14
2 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 1m03.7830s +0.1132s 14
3 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 1m03.8546s +0.1848s 14
4 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 1m03.8606s +0.1908s 14
5 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 1m03.9390s +0.2692s 15
6 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1m04.2610s +0.5912s 15
7 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 1m04.2678s +0.5980s 15
8 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m04.2698s +0.6000s 15
9 Ernie Francis Jr Force Indy 1m04.3912s +0.7214s 15
10 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 1m04.4322s +0.7624s 15
11 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m04.5431s +0.8733s 13
12 Flinn Lazier Abel Motorsports 1m04.6491s +0.9793s 15