Barber Indy Lights: Lundqvist dominates Race 1

The first Indy Lights race for 18 months saw Global Racing Group with HMD score a 1-2, Linus Lundqvist leading Benjamin Pedersen, as one of the championship favorites Kyle Kirkwood made a Turn 1 blunder.

Barber Indy Lights: Lundqvist dominates Race 1

Although polesitter Lundqvist got off to a fine start, fellow HMD runner and front row starter David Malukas was nudged under braking by the third-placed car of Andretti Autosport’s Kyle Kirkwood.

The contact sent Malukas off track and into the Turn 1 tire barrier and broke Kirkwood’s front wing. The former was out on the spot, while Kirkwood pitted for a new nose-wing assembly and would restart from the back of the grid.

Lundqvist’s teammate Benjamin Pedersen was thus promoted to second ahead of Toby Sowery’s Juncos Racing entry, the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport car of Devlin DeFrancesco and the Carlin car of Alex Peroni. Behind these five ran two more Andretti drivers, those of series veteran Robert Megennis and Danial Frost.

The Lap 5 restart was clean, and Lundqvist immediately pulled away while Sowery tried a variety of lines, probing Pedersen’s defense. Then on Lap 8 Sowery probed the outer limits of Turn 5, and the error allowed DeFrancesco up into third.

Just past half distance, Lundqvist was maintaining an approximately 2.5sec gap over Pedersen who had a similar margin over De Francesco who in turn was a similar margin ahead of Sowery.

Kirkwood was storming along, although he took several laps to pass Christian Bogle’s Carlin car and slot into ninth. Once there, he set the fastest laps of the race as he closed on reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Sting Ray Robb of Juncos Racing, and was the first driver to drop into the 1min12sec lap bracket.

Leader Lundqvist went a couple hundredths quicker on his 22nd lap of the 30, as he stretched his lead over Pedersen to 3.8sec.

With seven laps to go, Megennis in sixth was leading a four-car train ahead of Frost, Robb and Kirkwood, but he then edged away as Frost focused on his mirrors. However, there were no order changes in the closing laps.

Lundqvist ran out the winner, 5.3sec ahead of his Danish teammate, who was able to keep DeFrancesco at arm’s length, while Sowery can reflect on a strong comeback having raced nothing in 2020.

Race results:

Pos.

No.

Driver

Laps

Gap

Team

1

26

Linus Lundqvist

30

-

Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports

2

24

Benjamin Pedersen

30

5.3517

Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports

3

17

Devlin DeFrancesco

30

5.9810

Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport

4

51

Toby Sowery

30

7.7214

Juncos Racing

5

5

Alex Peroni

30

12.5337

Carlin

6

27

Robert Megennis

30

21.6282

Andretti Autosport

7

68

Danial Frost

30

22.9966

Andretti Autosport

8

2

Sting Ray Robb

30

23.3486

Juncos Racing

9

28

Kyle Kirkwood

30

23.4560

Andretti Autosport

10

7

Christian Bogle

30

30.1144

Carlin

11

59

Nikita Lastochkin

30

30.6155

HMD Motorsports

12

11

Antonio Serravalle

30

39.4766

Pserra Racing

13

79

David Malukas

---

2 LAPS

HMD Motorsports

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