Lundqvist fastest in Indy Lights practice on Friday, Siegel dazzles – Race Review Online

SALINAS, Calif. — It was no surprise to see Linus Lundqvist’s name at the top of the timesheets after Friday practice for the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey, as Lundqvist only needs to compete in the first race on Saturday. of the weekend’s doubleheader to clinch the season championship. .

But the second-place name after practice raised a few eyebrows in the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca paddock.

WATCH: Practice Results

Sweden’s Lundqvist led the 50-minute session with a best lap of 1 minute, 16.2159 seconds in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports car with Dale Coyne Racing. His new teammate this weekend, 17-year-old Nolan Siegel, was second with a 1:16.9746 in the No. 11 HMD Motorsports entry Dale Coyne Racing on his Indy Lights debut.

“Great first practice,” Lundqvist said. “The numbers don’t really tell the whole story. I wish that was the case, but Nolan and I were the only ones who got a proper race on the new tyres. That is why there is a big difference in times.

“But before that, when everyone was using old (tyres), I think it was very close. Five types within a tenth. So I am looking forward to a close qualifying and fun racing.”

Indy Lights will conclude its season with a doubleheader featuring 35-lap races. Saturday’s show is scheduled for 3:25 p.m. and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday at 12:30 ET, live on INDYCAR Live! and the INDYCAR Radio Network.

Lundqvist has a 103-point lead over Matthew Brabham and has won five of 12 races so far this season. He will earn his first Lights championship by taking the green flag on Saturday.

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Siegel, of Palo Alto, Calif., jumped into Indy Lights this weekend after winning two races in the recently completed Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires championship, the middle rung of the three official development series leading up to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.

“It went really well,” Siegel said. “I’m not sure what the real pace is. I went to (new) tires, and I’m not sure who else did. But P2 in the first practice session is a really strong start. Definitely a good start, and I’m looking to build on that in qualifying and in the races.”

Brabham was third in practice with a 1:17.5963 in Andretti Autosport’s No. 83 car on the 11-turn, 2.258-mile circuit that includes the daunting complex of “Corkscrew” turns. Danial Frost finished fourth with a 1:17.6377 in the No. 68 HMD Motorsports car with Dale Coyne Racing.

Benjamin Pedersen, who earned his first career Lights victory last weekend at Portland, rounded out the top five with a 1:17.6575 in the No. 24 Global Racing Group entered by HMD.

There were two red flags during the session. The first came 21 minutes after the green flag when Christian Bogle went off the track at Turn 6 and hit the tire barrier in the No. 7 HMD Motorsports car with Dale Coyne Racing. Bogle was uninjured.

Sting Ray Robb fired the second red flag with five minutes to go when he stopped on a course adjacent to Turn 2 when his No. 2 Sekady car had a mechanical problem.

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