Indy Lights Fast Qualifier: Matheus Leist [Russ Lake Photo]
More Rain sends Indy Light Qualifying to Late Afternoon
by Mary Champion
Speedway, Ind., May 25 – It was another soggy day at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
There was limited activity scheduled for the track on Thursday with only Verizon IndyCar Series pit stop practice and Road to Indy Indy Lights practice and qualifying for Friday’s Freedom 100 race on the docket.
It was raining at the time Indy Lights practice was scheduled to begin. Track drying began after the rain stopped but another mid-day shower hit just as the track was about dry.
The pit stop practice was cancelled and the effort began to get the track dry long enough to allow the Indy Lights cars to practice and qualify.
Track drying began after the shower subsided and although the sky remained threatening, the rain held off long enough for the Indy Lights to get in 20 minutes of green flag practice time shortly after 4:00 p.m.
A total of 136 practice laps were made by the 14 entered cars with Kyle Kaiser and Nicolas Dapero posting the most laps with 14 each.
Matheus Leist was fastest in practice, turning a lap of 201.032, which was almost 1.5 mph faster than Zachry Claman De Melo who posted a fast lap of 199.515 mph.
Qualifying for the Indy Lights began shortly after 5:00 p.m.. The session concluded without incident with Leist on the pole for Friday’s Freedom 100 with a one-lap record speed of 199.268 mph and a two-lap qualifying record speed of 199.198 mph, both breaking the old record speeds set by Ethan Ringel in May 2015.
Joining Leist on the front row will be Colton Herta, the 17-year-old son of Bryan Herta, with a two lap average speed of 198.648 mph.
Friday, the Freedom 100 is scheduled to take the green flag at 12:30 p.m.
Important Note: For anyone planning on coming to the track on Friday, Saturday or Race Day, there are several important entrance gate changes to be aware of due to additional security as Vice-Presdent Mike Pence and his wife are planning on attending the race. The Pence’s are long time race fans and have attended a number of “500’s.”
For details on gate changes, please log onto IMS.com\planyourvisit and click on the Parking or Directions link.