Thursday marked the first on-track sessions for the Firestone Indy Lights Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The nineteen car field had three hours in the morning and qualifying in the afternoon..
Also Thursday, there were multiple Media-only events all afternoon, one after another.
Among the nineteen Indy Lights drivers this weekend are nine Rookies, and six are making their first appearance, four being American – the only Yanks in the field. Two hail from Indiana, and one each from Hollywood and Kansas. All nineteen ran the practice session.
Mid-way through the session, Firestone recorded ambient temperatures of 78 degrees F/26C, with track temperature 102F/39C.
The series is a veritable United Nations: drivers are from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, England, FranceIndia, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway and Venezuela.
Saavedra, of Colombia, was fastest in the three-hour morning practice, at 47.5067. He was followed by GUSTAVO YACAMAN of Colombia/Team Moore Racing; DAVID OSTELLA of Canada/Team Moore Racing; Rookie OLIVER WEBB of England/Sam Schmidt Motorsports; and Rookie J.V. HORTO of Brazil/Juncos Racing.
SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA/Andretti Autosport is running the full Indy Lights series, currently leads the standings, and is going for the championship. This weekend he’s also one of the five Andretti IndyCar drivers. He is gridded twenty-fourth, but will start at the back due to a blown engine/engine change. At this point, this is the only IndyCar race he’s planning.This is the second time Saavedra has ‘done the double’- the previous time was in 2010 when he raced for Bryan Herta Autosport. If he succeeds, he will be the first driver to do the double twice.
Thursday noon Rookie KATHERINE LEGGE of England/Dragon Racing Chevrolet had a media presence with a gaggle of Girl Scouts. Legge credited some of her confidence and success from being a Girl Guide in England. Girl Scouts are 100 years old this year, and Legge will be wearing its logo on her specially designed helmet – to promote the Girl Scouts ‘ToGetHerThere’ campaign. Legge will be the first motorsports athlete as a Girl Scouts national spokesperson. She will also be the inaugural STEM Ambassador (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math.) The girls played Media and peppered Legge with questions, after which she handed out die cast cars and Girl Scout cookies.