Cooper Tires Winterfest update #4 – Indy Lights final

Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire testing on the 13-turn 2.67 mile road course at NOLA Motorsports Park got off to late start after another cold start to the day.  The 8 a.m. start was pushed back to 9 a.m. and it took another half an hour before most of the field took the circuit.

10 of the 11 cars present took to the track.  The lone car to not turn laps was the No. 12 of Spencer Pigot.  Pigot dropped a wheel at Turn 1 late in yesterdays session and ran through the grassy area just off track.  They are sure whether it was caused by an access road or a rock, but the skid plate was pushed up into the tub cracking it.  The tub will need to be replaced, so don’t expect Pigot to be on track at Barber Motorsports Park next week.

Drivers were able to test out the additional 50 horsepower push-to-pash (PTP) system during the morning session.  For every 11 laps that a driver completed they were able to use one push to gain the additional 50 horsepower.

Before the session I was told that the hardest adaption for Max from transitioning from Formula 1 to Indy Lights is the delay in the gearbox when making an upshift or downshift.  Apparently he got used to it, as he blitzed the field by almost a half of a second.  His best lap time was 84.1204 on his 32nd of 43 laps.  Too further demoralize the field his best lap was done without PTP and he was able to match that time on used tires as well.  Here are the results from this morning:

Rank Car No. Driver Team Top Lap Time
1 14 Max Chilton (R) Carlin Motorsport 01:24.1204
2 18 Kyle Kaiser (R) Juncos Racing 01:24.6047
3 4 Felix Serralles (R) Belardi Auto Racing 01:24.6562
4 11 Ed Jones (R) Carlin Motorsport 01:24.9044
5 42 Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 01:25.2429
6 7 RC Enerson (R) Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 01:25.3776
7 51 Shelby Blackstock (R) Andretti Autosport 01:25.6632
8 77 Scott Anderson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 01:25.9905
9 5 Juan Piedrahita Belardi Auto Racing 01:26.1129
10 71 Ethan Ringel (R) Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 01:26.5131

I spent some time watching Carlin work this morning and they should force everybody, in what is already a very professional paddock, to up their game even more.  Team principal Trevor Carlin was present and was just as busy doing “menial” crew tasks as his other team members were.  Can you tell that I’m impressed?

USF2000 is currently on track for their first practice session, and Pro Mazda takes to the track after that.  We’ll be back after that.