MRTI: pre-season testing Day 4 notebook
The final day of pre-season testing for the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires saw the top series in the ladder take to the 2.3-mile road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After running on the 1.5-mile oval on Friday, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires had its first and only day on the road course on Monday.
Monday’s running saw the field increase to seven cars, with Belardi Auto Racing joining in with drivers Santiago Urrutia and Aaron Telitz (of note: Juncos Racing’s Alfonso Celis Jr. did not do any laps on Monday).
And it was Belardi driver Urrutia leading the way, turning the fastest lap of the day, at 1:14.502, during Session 2, bettering Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Norman by nearly half a second in doing so.
However, Urrutia pointed out that his fast lap came as the result of a little help, in the form of push-to-pass.
“Everyone used the push-to-pass at the end, including me, so I think (teammate Aaron Telitz) was quickest today,” he asserted
Urrutia added that, despite the speed, he and the team struggled to hit the setup exactly right, something he acknowledged they’ll need to do to battle for the Indy Lights title.
“We’ve been working on setup for St. Pete and we’re pretty good, though we need to fix some problems that showed up today,” he explained. “I wasn’t completely comfortable in the car today because of that so we’ll get those things fixed before St. Pete. It’s going to be tough this year, because anyone can win the championship. You see from the times today that it’s going to be really tight. To win the championship you have to always be right there – win when you have the car to win, and if you don’t, be right there in the top-five.”
The next official on-track sessions for the series in the Mazda Road to Indy will come at the season-opening weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida on March 9-11.