Home Road to IndyIndy Nxt Siegel sets the pace in Indy Nxt’s Indianapolis practice

Siegel sets the pace in Indy Nxt’s Indianapolis practice

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Jones

HMD Motorsports’ Nolan Siegel edged Andretti Global’s Louis Foster to top spot in Indy Nxt’s sole practice session on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

Siegel was fastest at the very start and very end of the 50-minute session, setting a 1m20.282s as the first benchmark. His team-mate Callum Hedge lowered the pace to 1m17.1126s five minutes in, Siegel responded with a 1m17.0063s, then Hedge went quickest again with a 1m16.4995s.

Myles Rowe initially made it a HMD 1-2-3 before Bryce Aron and then Louis Foster, both of Andretti Global, reduced Hedge’s advantage. It was their team-mate James Roe Jr who toppled Hedge, setting a 1m16.4136s after nine minutes, but he was only briefly on top as Foster went went 0.343 seconds faster. At this point HMD’s Nolan Allaer and Reece Gold were absent.

Foster improved to 1m15.9502s before pitting 14 minutes in, then on his next run lowered the pace to 1m15.6100s to lead HMD’s Caio Collet by 0.4485s and Hedge by 0.6561s going into the session’s second half.

Abel Motorsport’s form man Jacob Abel was 0.5828s slower than Foster when he rose to third place, and a few minutes later Gold jumped to 10th on the timesheet as he concluded his first run. Allaer meanwhile remained a no-show.

Fifth place was the most hotly contested position, with the pace of the top four seemingly out of reach until 18 minutes to go when Andretti’s Jamie Chadwick demoted Abel to fifth with a lap 0.5897s off the pace.

A minute later Andretti Cape’s Salvador de Alba got within half a second of Foster as he snatched fourth place, then on his next lap improved to a 1m15.7404s. That put him second, 0.1304s off the top.

The confident Foster responded by setting new fastest laps twice in a row, with a 1m15.2453s the new benchmark with 14 minutes left of FP1. Two laps after that he improved once more, setting a 1m15.0969s before heading to the pits as Allaer finally let them.

At that point many of his rivals set personal bests, with Roe, Collet, Siegel, Andretti Cape’s Michael d’Orlando and Abel Motorsport’s debuting Jordan Missig filling third to seventh place as they improved.

Roe’s next lap was a 1m15.6188s, which brought him into second and within 0.5219s of Foster, as de Alba found more pace but also found himself demoted to third. That then became fourth when Gold set a 1m15.6511s.

Collet cut Foster’s gap at the top to 0.183s with eight minutes to go, and a minute later Siegel got within 0.0953s of the pace. Roe improved in fourth, before losing the spot to Chadwick.

Siegel returned to the top with four minutes left of FP1, setting a 1m14.9481s that would go unbeaten. Foster improved at the same time to 1m14.9812s.

Abel went third fastest with a minute to go after successive improvements, and Abel set a personal best to sit between Collet and Chadwick in fifth. Roe found more pace at the very end but stayed seventh.

Free practice 1 results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Nolan Siegel HMD Motorsports 1m14.9481s 31
2 Louis Foster Andretti Global 1m14.9812s +0.0331s 26
3 Bryce Aron Andretti Global 1m15.2107s +0.2626s 28
4 Caio Collet HMD Motorsports 1m15.2799s +0.3318s 27
5 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1m15.3210s +0.3729s 28
6 Jamie Chadwick Andretti Global 1m15.3456s +0.3975s 27
7 James Roe Jr Andretti Global 1m15.3502s +0.4021s 28
8 Myles Rowe HMD Motorsports 1m15.4620s +0.5139s 29
9 Jonathan Browne HMD Motorsports 1m15.4690s +0.5209s 30
10 Callum Hedge HMD Motorsports 1m15.5029s +0.5548s 26
11 Michael d’Orlando Andretti Cape 1m15.5300s +0.5819s 30
12 Reece Gold HMD Motorsports 1m15.5705s +0.6224s 26
13 Salvador de Alba Andretti Cape 1m15.5850s +0.6369s 30
14 Josh Pierson HMD Motorsports 1m15.6451s +0.6970s 28
15 Christian Bogle HMD Motorsports 1m15.8306s +0.8825s 24
16 Jordan Missig Abel Motorsports 1m15.9553s +1.0072s 31
17 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Abel Motorsports 1m16.0810s +1.1329s 27
18 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Racing 1m16.0848s +1.1367s 24
19 Niels Koolen HMD Motorsports 1m16.3027s +1.3546s 30
20 Nolan Allaer HMD Motorsports 1m16.7099s +1.7618s 15
21 Lindsay Brewer Juncos Hollinger Racing 1m17.2164s +2.2683s 25