The Andretti Autosport foursome set the pace for Race 2 of the weekend’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires double-header on the Streets of St. Petersburg, recovering from a string of bad luck in Race 1’s qualifying session to capture the pole. Rookie Colton Herta, driving the No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda for Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing, earned his first pole in the series while also capturing the first pole for Andretti Autosport in the Dallara IL-15.
During the 30-minute session, Herta, Dalton Kellett (No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda) and Nico Jamin (No. 27 Synova Mazda) all flirted with first position, competing for the top spot on a fast track in a tight top-eight field. Kellett, who is in his second year in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, will start tomorrow’s event in his highest starting position in the series. Unfortunately for Jamin, due to a late brush with the wall, repairs will need to be made by the crew prior to tomorrow’s race. Aside from the impact, Jamin will start in a strong sixth position.
Continuing to get a feel for his first two events on the street course, rookie Ryan Norman kept his No. 48 Flip Size Mazda clean, attaining valuable seat time on an all-green flag course. Norman, who brushed the wall yesterday in qualifying for today’s first race of the season, felt he struggled a little with a few things on-track, but will debrief and set sights on tomorrow’s 60-lap event.
Green flag drops for Race 2 of the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. ET. Fans can catch the action live by following the team @followAndretti on Twitter, downloading the RoadtoIndy.TV app or logging on to IndyLights.com.
Colton Herta – No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda
- Captured pole position for his second race in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.
- Herta captures first pole for Andretti Autosport in Dallara IL-15.
“Coming in first is good way to end a qualifying session. I was a bit frustrated yesterday, but everything came together – the car was perfect, it came together and we’re P1. I’m super excited about the race. It’s going to be a tough one, though – I’m on pole for the longer race which is 60 laps. The Cooper Tires are going to hold up and we’re going to have to conserve a little bit, but it’s going to be a fun race for the Deltro Energy and Andretti-Steinbrenner crew.”
Dalton Kellett – No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda
- Will start tomorrow’s race in third position.
- Tomorrow’s Race 2 start will be Kellett’s highest starting position in Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires.
“This was definitely the qualifying session we were looking for. Great result by the Andretti Autosport Indy Lights crew finishing 1-3-6. This is definitely a testament to all the work we’ve been doing during the off season. The cars really came together this morning – we got a good gap on track and were able to put a good lap down. I’m happy with what we were able to do. We’re starting 12th for the first race which will give us an opportunity to see how things play out and see where guys are passing. Then we can use that information for Race 2 when we start up front.”
Nico Jamin – No. 27 Synova Mazda
- Ran quick all session, starting tomorrow’s race from sixth position.
- Due to last minute hard impact with wall, crews will work to fix right side of No. 27 Synova Mazda before tomorrow’s race.
“Overall, it was a much better qualifying than yesterday for us. We were on top pretty much the whole session but I had a little mistake at the end pushing for the pole and I touched the wall a little bit. That ended my qualification run while the other guys kept improving. I know we have a strong car for the race so we will try to get the car to the front.”
Ryan Norman – No. 48 Flip Size Mazda
- Gained valuable seat time with an all green-flag session.
- The rookie will line up 14th for the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Cooper Tires Race 2.
“Qualifying went alright; we struggled with a couple different things on track with the car. Overall, I have really fast teammates so we’re going to go back and look at some data and talk with them. I have a good Flip Side crew behind me, so we’ll be ready to go out and race this thing.”