ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Gabby Chaves will start from the pole position for tomorrow’s St. Petersburg 100, the first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race of the season which will be held on the streets of St. Petersburg.
The Miami, Fla.-based Colombian, who finished a close second in last year’s Indy Lights title chase, achieved the feat without turning a lap this afternoon after a severe storm warning caused the scheduled half-hour qualifying session to be canceled. Officials instead decided to form the grid for round one using combined times from the previous two practice sessions.
Ohio’s Zach Veach, who in common with Chaves is contesting his second season of Indy Lights, will line up on the outside of the front row for Andretti Autosport.
Chaves, 20, driving the #5 Marca Colombia/Coldeportes entry for Belardi Auto Racing, set the fastest time in both practice sessions. His time of 1:09.3707 on Friday afternoon bettered Veach by .2407. While both contenders improved their times this morning, Chaves’ time of 1:08.4529 proved .2538 faster than Veach’s.
A pair of impressive rookies will share row two of the grid – Veach’s teammate Matthew Brabham and Team Moore Racing’s Vittorio Ghirelli. USF2000 and Pro Mazda graduate Scott Anderson also impressed during the two practice sessions and will start fifth in Fan Force United’s entry.
The green flag for the St. Petersburg 100 is slated for 12:45 p.m. ET tomorrow.