By: Tanner Watkins
December 4, 2018 | 8:00 AM
Few teams went to sleep last night as pleased with their results as BN Racing. The Chicago-based outfit placed David Malukas in a brand new Dallara IL-15 machine and let him rip for 53 laps en route to the day’s fastest lap in Monday testing.
Sporting a stealth-black test scheme, Malukas led the field from the get-go by setting the fastest time in session number one, only to top the overall leaderboards by session three with a lap at 1m15.3556s. The next quickest driver on the day was Andretti Autosport’s Ryan Norman with a lap time of 1m15.3781s.
“We just finished the last session of the day and we ended up finishing on a strong point in the top spot again,” said Malukas. “In Session Two, we didn’t use new tires and we made a few changes to make the car better. We used that setup with new tires and we ended up finding that little bit of extra time that we needed. It’s been really good.”
The quick start by BN Racing is impressive, but it should come as no surprise to those familiar with the team. Malukas joined BN Racing in 2017 as part of a partial USF2000 season, scoring a runner-up finish in the pairing’s third overall start at Road America.
This past season, Malukas and BN Racing entered the Pro Mazda championship and produced a strong fourth-place finish in the final standings, racking up three wins, six podiums and three poles along the way.
When it was announced in September that BN Racing would be moving up to the Indy Lights division, team owner Byrn Nuttall was confident but realistic in his expectations for 2019.
“Not only is this a key step in moving forward as a racing team but with the extra personnel coming in, this will also strengthen my already established USF2000 and Pro Mazda teams, which is a very critical point for me,” Nuttall told INDYCAR. “My aim is to have the capability of winning in every series we enter.
“I’m under no illusions on how tough 2019 in Indy Lights is going to be, but we’ve shown many times over the last 18 months what we are capable of, so let’s see what happens when March arrives.”
At the very least, Nuttall and his crew are off to a flying start in December.
Rounding out the action in Indy Lights on Monday was Frenchman Julien Falchero running third for Andretti Autosport at 1m15.5894s, Rinus VeeKay piloting a Juncos Racing machine at 1m15.6250s, and Zachary Claman De Melo returning to Indy Lights with Belardi Auto Racing.
Despite making nine starts in the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2018, Claman De Melo’s best lap time of 1m15.7786s was last out of the five competitors on hand Monday. VeeKay won the title of most laps completed on the day with 66, edging out the third-year Indy Lights veteran Norman who had 65.
A total of 290 laps were logged by the five Indy Lights drivers on Monday. Indy Lights teams will again enjoy three practice sessions today to close out December testing. Timing and scoring for Indy Lights practice can be found at IndyLights.com with session updates on Open-Wheels Twitter.
Header image courtesy of Road to Indy.