Hunter McElrea could only salvage seventh in the opening race of the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 season at Barber Motorsport Park after a damaged front wing ruined his race.
The Kiwi had qualified an impressive third the day before but slipped behind Manuel Sulaiman on lap three to run fourth.
McElrea was down to sixth by lap five, dropping spots to Reece Gold in Christian Rasmussen in an enthralling scrap.
Unfortunately, McElrea would then sustain damage to his front wing, which meant he was unable to fight back late in the race.
Cameron Shields and Enaam Ahmed would get past the wounded Pabst Racing machine. When Rasmussen would eventually retire to the pitlane with a mechanical issue, McElrea would be re-gifted seventh, a position he would hold until the chequered flag.
Still, McElrea demonstrated great speed in yesterday’s qualifying, and tomorrow he will start race two from the front row.
Given the difficulty of overtaking around the Barber circuit, McElrea will target a solid start to set up the best shot at victory.
Victory went the way of Braden Eves on his first race since breaking his back in a horrific crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway midway through last season.
Eves led every lap, pulling out a four-second advantage over Exclusive Autosport teammate Artem Petrov by the chequered flag.
Tomorrow’s race will be the precursor to the IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama, with coverage live on the Road to Indy YouTube channel starting at 2 am NZT.
|12||Kyffin Simpson||+1 lap|
|13||Enzo Fittipaldi||+1 lap|
|14||Christian Rasmussen||+1 lap|
|15||Wyatt Brichacek||+1 lap|
|16||James Roe||+1 lap|
|17||Jack William Miller||+1 lap|