Leist takes pole for Freedom 100
Carlin Racing’s Matheus Leist set an average speed of 199.198mph to claim pole for the most prestigious race on the Indy Lights schedule at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Freedom 100, which is run on Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the Friday before the Indy 500, will see Leist lead the field to the green ahead of Andretti Steinbrenner Racing’s Colton Herta, who fell 0.5mph short.
Leist, who like Herta is a rookie this year, pointed out: “[This was] my first qualifying on an oval, so I'm quite happy for this, and I’m looking forward to the race.”
Herta half-spun as he was leaving joining the track from pitlane. He commented: “I simply lost it coming up on the track. My engineer [Doug Zister] kept telling me to put it down to second gear in practice, and see how it is, and I never did that, so it’s my fault. Coming back up on the track, I lost it and went down into the pit entry, and then had to drive out of the pit entry!
“We lost some speed in that, but I don’t know how much. The Carlin guys had a good car today, so I don’t how much we could have clawed back.”
Dalton Kellett and Ryan Norman made it three Andretti Autosport cars in the top four, while Carlin had a second representative, Zachary Claman De Melo in the first three rows of two.
Aaron Telitz was sixth fastest ahead of Carlin’s Neil Alberico with Garth Rickards inserting a fourth Carlin in eighth. Shelby Blackstock of Belardi and Juan Piedrahita of Team Pelfrey completed the Top 10.
As in Tuesday’s test, the Juncos pair of championship leader Kyle Kaiser and his teammate Nicolas Dapero were disappointingly slow, three and four miles per hour respectively off Leist’s pace.
Another surprise was that Santi Urrutia’s Belardi car and Nico Jamin’s Andretti Autosport entry were also outside the Top 10 in the field of 14 cars.
Indy GP Lights: Kaiser scores first win of the season
Freedom 100: Leist conquers Indy with victory on oval debut