Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

MRTI: Norman, Askew top Chris Griffis test in Indy Lights

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The eighth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Open Test was held over the weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. And the two-day test saw a pair of Andretti Autosport drivers, one veteran and one newcomer, end each day on top in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires sessions.

Saturday saw incumbent Ryan Norman turn the quick lap of the day at 1:14.9283, which also was the fastest lap of the weekend, in relatively cool conditions. Sunday, the warmer of the two days, saw Oliver Askew, who joined the Andretti camp to test their No. 27 Dallara IL-15, lead the way with a time of 1:15.0008 – Norman and Askew went 1-2 in the combined times for the weekend.

Oliver Askew piloted the No. 27 Indy Lights entry for Andretti Autosport, the same one Patricio O’Ward carried to the 2018 Indy Lights title, at the Chris Griffis test. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Nine drivers participated in the Indy Lights session, and like Askew, it was the first time in an Indy Lights car for many of them. In fact, the entire top five from the 2018 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – Rinus VeeKay (Juncos Racing), Parker Thompson (Team Pelfrey), Askew (Andretti Autosport), David Malukas (Belardi Auto Racing), and Robert Megennis (Andretti Autosport) – all got to sample Indy Lights machinery over the weekend.

Behind Norman and Askew, Victor Franzoni, running with Belardi at the test, was third fastest at the end of the weekend, followed by Megennis and VeeKay. Malukas was sixth, followed by Thompson in seventh.

Lucas Kohl, who competed in the 2018 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda , also got to sample an Indy Lights car as he ran with the Belardi squad, ending up eighth quickest of the nine drivers. Heamin Choi, with Juncos Racing, was ninth quickest.

Along with Indy Lights, Pro Mazda and USF2000 took to the IMS Road Course as well. Pro Mazda saw Darren Keane (RP Motorsport) better Danial Frost (Juncos Racing) to turn the best lap of the weekend. Rasmus Lindh (Juncos Racing) and Julian Van der Watt (BN Racing) were third and fourth.

Franzoni, meanwhile, pulled double duty and piloted the No. 92 Tatuus PM-18 for Turn 3 Racing – Franzoni works as a mechanic, driver coach, and test driver for the team. Franzoni was fifth on the Pro Mazda speed chart.

In USF2000, Hunter McElrea led the way with Pabst Racing, ahead of Keane – Keane also pulled double duty, in Pro Mazda and USF2000 – in a Cape Motorsports entry.

Alex Baron (Legacy Autosport), James Raven (DEForce Racing), and Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst) rounded out the top five.

Results for all three series are below.


Dean Wilson out for rest of Supercross season
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“Such a massive gut punch on Saturday,” Dean Wilson wrote on Instagram on Tuesday. “Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye.”

With that post, Wilson announced that he will be out for the remainder of the Supercross season, which includes races at East Rutherford, N.J. and Las Vegas, Nev. An MRI earlier in the week revealed a shoulder injury. He also sustained damage to his kidney in a Lap 8 accident while he was running in the top 10.

Wilson’s injuries will not require surgery.

Wilson’s season began with a lot of promise. Earning the holeshot in the season-opening race at Anaheim, Wilson led for a time before narrowly missing the podium in fourth.

Two weeks later, Wilson finished fifth overall in the Triple Crown event of Anaheim II. Those are his only top-fives of the season.

“The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year,” Wilson continued.

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Such a massive gut punch on Saturday. Just as I was gaining good momentum riding well, feeling good and chasing my first win things turned in the blink of an eye. Started off Denver topping free practice then went on to qualify P1 in qualifier 1. Qualifier 2 didn’t get the cleanest laps but ended with a 4th. On to the main event I was running around 7th on lap 7 moving forward and as I came around for the rhythm section I tripled in and something freak happened causing the bike to nose dive after I tripled in and pile driving me into the ground. The tough part of this is I have been trying so hard this year to be back where I need to be trying to get a job for next year. It’s tough just hoping to have a ride each year. 2nd part is people saying “wilson’s hurt again, big surprise there” when it was something that wasn’t my fault. It’s a tough pill To swallow.. I injured my shoulder and got a contusion on my kidneys. Got MRI and good news is I dodged a bullet on my shoulder and I am just going to give it a few weeks of rest and therapy and see where we are at. Huge disappointment to end my SX season like this. Thanks to my whole team for everything and everybody checking in on me. I really appreciate it. I will be back.

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Next Race: East Rutherford April. 27, on NBCSN and on NBC Sports Gold

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