Mazda Road To Indy – Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire Freedom 100 practice

SEVEN MPH. That’s how much quicker the 199.452mph lap turned by rookie Sean Rayhall in the brand new Mazda powered Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race cars was over the Indy Lights track record of of 192.301mph. The two hour session saw three drivers from three different teams crack the 199mph barrier.

Official practice for the 13th Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) was put on hold for one hour until 10am while they waited for the ambient/track temperature to get north of 50F.

Formula 1 grad Max Chilton, who missed testing at IMS on Monday due to commitments while testing for Nissan in preparation for Le Man, was the first car to take to the historic 2.5 mile oval.

The top lap in Monday’s testing was turned by Jack Harvey at just under 196mph, but it didn’t take long for the 195mph barrier to be broken when only ten minutes into the session, Harvey’s teammate Scott Anderson turned a lap at 196.774mph.

It wasn’t long before group of four cars stuck together practicing race conditions. It appears that the racing “might” be similar to the last two years.

Forty minutes into the session the 199mph barrier was broken when rookie 8Star Motorsports pilot Sean Rayhall turned a lap at 199.452.

Halfway through the two hour session and the top five drivers were: Sean Rayhall, Felix Serralles, Jack Harvey, Juan Piedrahita and Shelby Blackstock. The top “no-tow” lap of 196.972 mph was turned by SPM with Curb-Agajanian rookie driver Ethan Ringel. In fact, the top four no-tow times were all held by SPM with Curb-Agajanian drivers.

TSO was able to spend some time on pit road later in the session, when a number of teams made final adjustments before going out for a qualifying simulation. The rear wing can run from six degrees nose-down (more downforce) to two degrees nose-up (less downforce). TSO didn’t see any teams running with the lowest possible down-force but it was close.

Early in the session, Rising Star Racing backed driver Spencer Pigot explained that his car was freer than it had been on Monday, but they couldn’t get down to the white line. Near the end of the session the Orlando, Florida native did a qualifying simulation where his best lap was only 194.887mph.

The SPM with Curb-Agajanian team and Jack Harvey in the No. 42 did spend some laps running the second line. A very smart play considering how this race has played out the past two years.

Qualifying for the Freedom 100 will take place at 1:15pm.

The top 5 no-tow times were:
RC Enerson — 197.410mph
Ethan Ringel — 197.186mph
Jack Harvey — 196.461mph
Sean Rayhall — 196.372mph
Scott Anderson — 196.017mph

The complete time sheet looks like this:

Sean Rayhall — 199.452mph
Felix Serralles — 199.318mph
Jack Harvey — 199.187mph
Juan Piedrahita — 197.669mph
Shelby Blackstock — 197.602mph
RC Enerson — 197.410mph
Ethan Ringel — 197.186mph
Ed Jones — 196.865mph
Scott Anderson — 196.774mph
Kyle Kaiser — 196.726mph
Spencer Pigot — 195.904mph
Max Chilton — 195.170