One year after the elimination of the 2020 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship, HMD Motorsports began their championship campaign at Barber Motorsports Park, just outside of Birmingham, Alabama this past weekend. From the first practice session of the weekend, the HMD Motorsports and Global Racing Group crew took their place as the team to beat.
Leading the HMD Motorsports lineup, David Malukas battled it out with his GRG teammate, Linus Lundqvist for the fastest time in practice where the pair were separated by a scant 0.1942 seconds. An indication of the level of competition in this year’s field, ten of the thirteen drivers finished within one second of each other.
After a strong qualifying session and set to start from second for the first race of the season, Malukas was hit from behind on the first turn at the start of the race, was sent into the barrier and was unable to complete the race. The HMD Motorsports crew was able to repair Malukas’ car in time for the second race on Sunday, where he started from pole and drove to his first career win in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship. Malukas had a strong lead throughout the entirety of the race with Linus Lundqvist finishing in second, more than six seconds behind Malukas. While he and Lundqvist pulled away from the field, the remaining eleven cars battled it out over thirty seconds behind the leaders.
In his first official weekend in Indy Lights, Nikita Lastochkin, driver of the #59, continued to improve throughout the entirety of the race weekend. In practice, Lastochkin finished in twelfth but managed to qualify eleventh for both races. Lastochkin was able to begin closing the gap to the leader and improved to a 1.1807-second difference in qualifying one and 1.0326-second difference in qualifying two. Lastochkin again finished in eleventh for the first race of the season and in the second race, he broke into the top-ten for the first time in his rookie season with an impressive ninth place result.
At the end of the double-header weekend, David Malukas is currently sitting third in the championship points standings and Nikita Lastochkin is in eleventh. Global Racing Group drivers Lundqvist and Benjamin Pedersen currently hold the first and fourth place positions in the championship courtesy of three podium results between the two.
Now, the HMD Motorsports crew will quickly prepare the cars for the next race, and will head straight to St. Petersburg, Florida this upcoming weekend, April 23rd-25th, for the next two rounds.
Last year, before the cancelation of the season, David Malukas topped the charts in the one-and-only practice session of the year at the Streets of St. Petersburg. Hoping to continue the momentum from the past weekend, HMD Motorsports will be looking to sit at the top of the charts once again.
The Indy Lights field will take to the track three times on Friday, with a practice session in the morning followed by both qualifying sessions later that afternoon. Saturday and Sunday will each host one round of the championship.
St. Petersburg – Weekend Schedule
Friday, April 23rd
10:25am – 11:05am Practice
1:25pm – 1:55pm Qualifying 1
5:25pm – 5:55pm Qualifying 2
Saturday, April 24th
3:20pm – 4:05pm Race 1
Sunday, April 25th
10:00am – 10:50pm Race 2
While the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is open to a limited number of attendees, fans who are unable to attend will be able to view live timing and video of both qualifying sessions and both races. Qualifying rounds will be available to watch on RoadToIndy.TV and on the Road to Indy TV App. For the races, fans within the United States will be able to watch live with a subscription to Peacock Premium and Canadian fans will be able to access a livestream via REV TV. Fans outside of North America can watch the live stream for free via The Race.
Qualifying – Watch Live
- Road to Indy TV App
Races – Watch Live
Please be sure to follow HMD Motorsports on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @HMDMotorsports. For more information on HMD Motorsports visit HMDMotorsports.com or email [email protected] To stay up to date with Global Racing Group, follow @GlobalRacingGroup on Instagram and @GRGInfo on Twitter and Facebook or visit GlobalRacingGroup.com.
Photo: Road to Indy