Chris Griffis Memorial Test Wraps Up At IMS

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Chris Griffis Memorial Test
Robert McGennis was second fastest in Road to Indy testing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. (Road to Indy photo)

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – A successful ninth annual Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy Test wrapped up Sunday afternoon after two days of running under ideal conditions at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix road course.

A total of 44 drivers from 12 different nations turned well over 4,700 laps between them over the two days, representing all three levels of the Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires.

The majority of the fastest times were set during the morning session.

Rinus VeeKay set the pace for Belardi Auto Racing in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, while USF2000 championship runner-up Hunter McElrea continued to display his ability by stepping up to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires Tatuus PM-18 for the first time and posting the fastest time for Pabst Racing.

Christian Rasmussen was the benchmark in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship for Jay Howard Driver Development.

After finishing second in this year’s title chase with Juncos Racing, Dutch phenom VeeKay remained perfect over the weekend in Indy Lights as he continued to work with proven race winning team Belardi Auto Racing.

Fastest in all six 45-minute sessions, VeeKay turned the fastest lap of the test Sunday morning at 1:15.4790 (116.329 mph), a touch better than his 1:15.4795 from Saturday.

A quartet of drivers from Andretti Autosport also improved their pace Sunday after chasing VeeKay in every session, with Robert Megennis emerging second fastest with a best lap of 1:15.7778.

“It was great to be back at IMS,” commented Megennis. “I really do love this track. It’s Indianapolis, so there is something special about it, and having it be where my first Indy Lights win took place, it really made it even more special. I have really enjoyed being at the Chris Griffis test this weekend. I was able to focus on my driving, I definitely learned some news things and improved throughout the test.

“We tried some different things out with the car and made improvements there. All in all, a successful test and huge thanks to the team for the effort this weekend.”

Rasmus Lindh, who finished second in this year’s Indy Pro 2000 championship chase, remained third fastest, only one-tenth shy of Megennis, with Egor Orudzhev – a veteran of international open-wheel and sports car competition – a similar margin behind in fourth.

“It was difficult to adapt to the way the car works and handles,” said Orudzhev. “The Indy Lights car is a new car to me and took some getting used to. We have been learning every session on track. Yesterday, we were one second off of P1 (within the team) and today we were two tenths.

“Overall, today was a promising day and yet we still have a bit more to gain.”

Danial Frost rounded out the small field present for the Indianapolis test, although both HMD Motorsports and Exclusive Autosport – which recently confirmed plans to field entries in 2020 – are among several outfits expected to take part in the next scheduled series test at Sebring (Fla.) Int’l Raceway in December.

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