MRTI Friday Practice Report at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, NY – The three series’ in the Mazda Road to Indy will conclude their seasons at Watkins Glen this weekend. With that being said, all three series’ took to the scenic upstate New York road course on Friday for preliminary action.

The top step of the ladder in the Indy Lights Series already knows their champion. All Kyle Kaiser has to do on Sunday morning is start the race and the title is his. In the lone practice session of the day on Friday evening, Kaiser was seventh quick. The driver chasing him is Santi Urrutia where he was sixth overall.

But, leading the way was Shelby Blackstock who turned a lap of 1:32.7903-seconds in his No. 51 Belardi Mazda. Blackstock, was very strong at Mid-Ohio in July and even grabbed a career-tying best finish. 

Rookies Colon Herta (1:32.9955-seconds) Matheus Leist (1:33.0806-seconds) and Aaron Telitz (1:33.0917-seconds) were second through fourth respectively. Neil Alberico rounded out the top five with a lap of 1:33.2181-seconds.

The Lights drivers will practice for the final time of the season at 8:45 am ET tomorrow morning before qualifying at 2:15 pm ET.

In Pro Mazda, Victor Franzoni leads Anthony Martin by just four points. But, on Friday was Franzoni’s day. He was quickest in practice this morning then backed that up with a pole this afternoon. Martin though, will start alongside in second place in Saturday’s Race No. 1 in his No. 8 Mazda. Tomorrow’s race will surely be a shootout between the two at 1:15 p.m ET.

They will also qualify for Sunday’s season finale tomorrow too at 8 am ET too. Martin, was third quickest in practice this morning, so the heat is on him to outperform Franzoni.

Rookie Carlos Cunha was second quickest this morning and qualified third for the race, while TJ Fisher and Nikola Lastochkin were both fourth and fifth respectively in each practice and qualifying sessions.

In USF2000, they had two practice sessions today with points leader Oliver Askew being third in each. His main challenger is Rinus VeeKay as he was quickest in session No. 1 and but last in session No. 2 with an issue on his car.

That puts a lot of pressure on them for Saturday’s season finale with qualifying taking place at 8 am ET. The season finale will run at 1:15 p.m ET.

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