IPS: Lloyd hits qualifying stride, lands Mid-Ohio pole

After struggling through two practice sessions on Friday, Alex Lloyd earned the pole for Sunday's Indy Pro Series race at Mid-Ohio. Lloyd, who was more than 4 seconds off Wade Cunningham's time in Friday's first session, was 17th fastest in the ...

After struggling through two practice sessions on Friday, Alex Lloyd earned the pole for Sunday's Indy Pro Series race at Mid-Ohio. Lloyd, who was more than 4 seconds off Wade Cunningham's time in Friday's first session, was 17th fastest in the field of 23 drivers.

Everyone improved their times in Friday's second session, with Lloyd trimming six seconds from his time. Despite the huge improvement, Lloyd found himself 8th fastest as the leaders managed to trim two seconds from their times.

"We definitely struggled yesterday," said Lloyd. "In the morning it wasn't really an issue with the balance of the car. We had trouble getting the tires up to temperature, we were having a problem with a lack of grip."

After making some changes to the car, Lloyd found the grip he needed in Friday's second session, but he couldn't find a clear lap. "I had some problems with traffic," he said. Eighth fastest wasn't representative of what the car was capable of doing. "That may have given some people a false sense of security because I knew we had the car to challenge for the pole."

The Sam Schmidt Motorsports crew installed a new set of tires on the No. 7, giving Lloyd enough time to get one final flying lap in the books before the checkered flag. "Good timing," said Lloyd. "We got new tires on and we got that last lap at the end."

Stopping the clocks at 73.7719 seconds, Lloyd set the fastest Indy Pro Series lap of the event.

Stephen Simpson will start on the outside of the front row after earning his best starting position of the season. Simpson's time was 74.0056 seconds, more than half a second faster than his best from Friday. "It was a bit like yesterday where every lap was faster, kind of like when you're on a wet circuit and it's drying," said Simpson. "Alex (Lloyd) was probably the last car out there doing a quick lap, and he got the pole, so congratulations to him."

Andrew Prendeville thought he had the pole until he was nipped at the end of the session, "It's our best qualifying effort yet," said Prendeville, "we're happy to qualify third."

Richard Antinucci, who was fastest on Friday, will start fourth with Bobby Wilson and Wade Cunningham starting on the third row.

Jonathan Klein was back in the No. 2 car after a terrible shunt on Friday that sheared the front of his car off. After assessing the car's damage early Friday the team considered withdrawing from the event. It was reported here that the team had withdrawn, but the team never officially withdrew. Klein was asked to return to the track Friday afternoon and the team qualified 15th.

Daniel Herrington timed at 74.4987 seconds but will start from the back of the field after causing two full course cautions during qualifying. His time would have placed him on the outside of the second row.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Andrew Prendeville , Richard Antinucci , Alex Lloyd , Stephen Simpson , Wade Cunningham , Daniel Herrington , Bobby Wilson , Jonathan Klein