Pagenaud leads Baltimore Saturday morning practice

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Simon Pagenaud led Saturday morning’s practice session for the IZOD IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT. The third 45-minute session is the last before qualifying, which will be held at noon ET and on NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET.

Times stayed in the 1:18 range around the 2.04-mile with Pagenaud’s 1:18.4391 leading the way in the No. 77 HP Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports Honda. His teammate, Tristan Vautier, led Friday’s second practice.

Scott Dixon and Will Power were second and third, although the two had another coming together in the morning session. Power tapped Dixon from behind at Turn 12, which sent the Kiwi into the concrete barrier and left both with broken front wings. That said, it didn’t appear an intentional incident as Dixon tried to give Power room entering the corner.

Sebastien Bourdais and James Jakes rounded out the top five. Jakes, unfortunately, will take a 10-spot grid penalty ahead of qualifying for switching to a sixth Honda engine.

Simona de Silvestro brought out a red flag after nosing into the barriers at Turn 8.

Qualifying groups for today’s session are below.

Group 1               Group 2
#15 Graham Rahal         #55 Tristan Vautier
#9 Scott Dixon           #67 Josef Newgarden
#12 Will Power           #77 Simon Pagenaud
#14 Takuma Sato          #11 Tony Kanaan
#10 Dario Franchitti     #7 Sebastien Bourdais
#4 Oriol Servia          #98 Luca Filippi
#27 James Hinchcliffe    #3 Helio Castroneves
#1 Ryan Hunter-Reay      #5 E.J. Viso
#6 Sebastian Saavedra    #19 Justin Wilson
#16 James Jakes          #83 Charlie Kimball
#78 Simona de Silvestro  #25 Marco Andretti
#18 Stefan Wilson        #20 Ed Carpenter

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.