Home Featured Rasmussen earns redemptive first Indy Lights win at Road America

Rasmussen earns redemptive first Indy Lights win at Road America

by Ida Wood

Photo: Travis Hinkle

Andretti Autosport converted its top four domination in Indy Lights qualifying into a podium lockout at Road America, with Christian Rasmussrn claiming his maiden win.

Sting Ray Robb was the driver who took pole, ahead of team-mates Hunter McElrea, Rasmussen and Matthew Brabham.

There was drama from the off in the race, as Robb covered off McElrea and the lead went to Rasmussen at Turn 1 as he took the inside line and Robb was forced out wide.

There was a small gap for Rasmussen already by the time he reached Turn 5, while Brabham went off and dropped behind McElrea and Jacob Abel. The race was then neutralised as Ernie Francis Jr went off into the gravel at Turn 7, but not before Benjamin Pedersen and Abel were able to have a brave side-by-side moment through the Kink.

Racing resumed on lap four, with Francis’s car being recovered and heading to the pits where he got a new nosecone and front tyres, and there was contact between Brabham and McElrea – but no damage – on the restart.

By the next lap yellow flags were out again as Antonio Serravalle suffered an engine failure, and this time the restart didn’t come until lap nine. Robb has big oversteer at the final corner but still got a run on Rasmussen down the pit straight as the track returned to green, and at Turn 1 he went to the inside and Brabham went to the outside.

Both cleared Rasmussen, but Brabham ran off track at the exit and so Rasmussen led again on the run to Turn 3 where Robb dived past under braking. Pedersen flew off track and through several advertising boards but returned to the circuit seemingly undamaged and with the speed to then lunge down the outside at Turn 5.

He briefly got into third but went off at the corner exit as he carried too much speed and fell to seventh. The race was neutralised moments later, as Christian Bogle had launched himself over the kerbs approaching Turn 5 and the front of his car then tore down the catchfencing.

This meant the race had to be stopped entirely, and didn’t restart until several hours later after IndyCar had raced.

Rasmussen passed Robb around the outside exiting Turn 1 as the race’s second half began, and he then pulled away to win and put his double retirement in Detroit behind him.

Robb finished second, while Brabham dropped from third to sixth and points leader Linus Lundqvist climbed from eighth to finish just shy of the podium in fourth place behind McElrea. Pedersen dropped a lap and came ninth, meaning he moves behind Robb in the championship standings.

Race result (20 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Christian Rasmussen Andretti Autosport 45m45.0401s
2 Sting Ray Robb Andretti Autosport +2.3573s
3 Hunter McElrea Andretti Autosport +6.1310s
4 Linus Lundqvist HMD Motorsports +6.8120s
5 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports +10.7062s
6 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport +12.6208s
7 James Roe Jr TJ Speed +18.8083s
8 Danial Frost HMD Motorsports +19.6014s
9 Kyffin Simpson TJ Speed +34.6822s
10 Ernie Francis Jr Force Indy +1 lap
11 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group with HMD +1 lap
Ret Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports
Ret Antonio Serrvalle HMD Motorsports
Fastest lap: Robb, 1m55.4791s

Championship standings
Lundqvist 315   2 Robb 233   3 Pedersen 218   4 Frost 215   5 Brabham 214   6 Rasmussen 200   7 McElrea 198   8 Simpson 169   9 Abel 166   10 Serravalle 162