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Bolt caused tyre chaos in Indy Lights practice at Gateway

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Matt Fraver

Benjamin Pedersen ended a disrupted practice session at Gateway on top ahead of team-mate and Indy Lights championship leader Linus Lundqvist.

The field lost a little over eight minutes of running midway through the 50-minute session when yellow flags were waved for a track inspection. Two drivers had suffered punctures, and a loose bolt on track was discovered to be responsible.

Green flags were flown with 10 minutes left on the clock but only nine would be run before the session ended as HMD Motorsports’ James Roe Jr lost the rear end of his car at turn two and made heavy contact with the wall.

He was able to get out of the car himself, but it caused an early end to the single practice session.

Between stoppages, Pedersen had set the fastest average speed with a 28.009s lap. The HMD driver had jumped to the top of the order early on as the first to set a lap quicker than 160mph. He would remain the only driver in that bracket for much of the session, until an improvement for Lundqvist after the first yellow flag.

Lundqvist had already gone second quickest in the first half of practice, but continued to find pace throughout and ended the action with a 160.4mph lap.

Andretti Autosport’s Christian Rasmussen improved late to go third quickest, knocking Roe back to fourth.

Hunter McElrea, currently second in the points, could only manage to go sixth quickest, behind Danial Frost who had been running in second place early in practice. McElrea’s Andretti team-mate Matthew Brabham was seventh.

Free practice results

Pos Driver Team Speed Gap Laps
1 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group w/ HMD 160.663mph 34
2 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports 160.405mph +0.045s 15
3 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 160.006mph +0.115s 38
4 Jame Roe Jr HMD Motorsports 159.597mph +0.187s 39
5 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports 159.365mph +0.228s 15
6 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport 159.078mph +0.279s 48
7 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 159.050mph +0.284s 48
8 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 158.887mph +0.313s 53
9 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 158.876mph +0.315s 36
10 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport 158.094mph +0.455s 44
11 Kyffin Simpson HMD Motorsports 157.862mph +0.497s 41
12 Ernie Francis Jr. Force Indy 157.348mph +0.590s 54