The race weekend started on Friday morning with a practice session. Normally the track would have very low grip in our first session of the weekend, but because there was a promoter test the day prior for Pro Mazda and USF2000, the track had a ton of grip. The first session the car felt pretty solid after making a couple pit stops and we ended the session 4th quickest. The next session of the day ended up getting rained out after very severe weather systems came through the area. Not only did we lose some track time, but also the setup we had developed during the first session was nearly useless with a completely different track.
This forced us to make a decision on whether to extremely change the set up or stay relatively the same for qualifying early Saturday morning. The track conditions felt very different during the session and the car wasn’t producing much lap time compared to the rest of the field. So we struggled to qualify high in the field, making our job in the races very difficult.
In the first race I was starting 12th, and made a strong start and moved into the 8th position by Turn 4. But as the race went on I was plagued with a “flat spot” on the right front tire, which got progressively worse every lap. Eventually I would lose a position and struggled to slow the car down in the brake zones, but managed to bring the car home in 9th.
The second race was Sunday on a track with much more grip since the weather had been fairly stable since that first
storm. I started 11th and once again had a clean start and made up 2 positions. After some battling and fighting up front I had advanced into the 6th position towards the end of the race. With 10 laps to go I made a pass for 5th going into Turn 4, but lost that position a few laps later because I was low on Push to Passes. So I managed to finish this race in the 6th position.
Considering the struggle in qualifying, I was very happy to bring the car home in both races. With only three races remaining on the Indy Lights schedule, the championship is really heating up for an exciting finish. Although the results from this past race weekend were not what we were hoping for, there is still a chance to move forward in the championship. So the goal will be to give it everything we have for the last race weekends and see where we end up after the finale!