LEXINGTON, Ohio (Friday, July 1, 2022) – It was a good day to be a rookie in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires as a quartet of drivers new to the series in 2022, led by Hunter McElrea, took the top four spots in Friday’s only practice session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
McElrea put the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car at the top of the speed chart with a best lap of 1 minute, 13.6126 seconds in preparation for Sunday’s Indy Lights at Mid-Ohio (10:35 a.m. ET, live on Peacock Premium).
“Really good start to the weekend,” said the 22-year-old New Zealand racer. “The car feels great like I was expecting it to be honestly. Andretti Autosport is always strong here, so looking forward to the rest of the weekend. It should be a good one!”
McElrea’s rookie Andretti Autosport teammate Christian Rasmussen, the most recent winner in the series two weeks ago at Road America, followed in second with a best lap time of 1:13.9189 in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car.
Third was rookie Kyffin Simpson at 1:13.9679 in the No. 21 TJ Speed Motorsports car, and rookie Jacob Abel was fourth at 1:13.9751 in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon.
The most senior driver in the field, 28-year-old Matthew Brabham, followed his younger competition and rounded out the top five at 1:14.1474 in the No. 83 Andretti Autosport car.
Championship leader Linus Lundqvist found himself in the back half of the field, coming in eighth quickest of the 13 cars in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car with a best lap time of 1:14.2309.
The only incident of the day came late in the session. Abel went off course in Turn 1, making contact with the tire barrier. Abel was seen and released from the infield car center, and his incident ended the practice early.
Indy Lights is back in action from the 13-turn, 2.258-mile permanent road course Saturday, first with practice at 8:35 a.m. (ET), followed by qualifying at 1:45 p.m. Both sessions can be streamed on INDYCAR Live! and listened to on the INDYCAR Radio Network.
About Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires
Celebrating 35 years, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires develops drivers and teams to compete in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Past champions include INDYCAR SERIES champions Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Paul Tracy and Cristiano da Matta. In 2021, 20 drivers in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES were Indy Lights graduates, including rising stars and race winners Colton Herta, Pato O’Ward and Rinus VeeKay. The 2022 season consists of 14 races in the United States. The NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Indy Lights, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IMS Productions are owned by Penske Corporation, a global transportation, automotive and motorsports leader. For more information on Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, please visit www.indylights.com. For more information on INDYCAR and the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, please visit www.indycar.com.
About Cooper Tire
Cooper Tire, a subsidiary of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NASDAQ: GT), specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car, light truck, medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper is headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.
Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs about 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 23 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg, strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.