Young kiwi open-wheel hopeful Hunter McElrea has finished his inaugural Indy Pro 2000 test session third fastest from the traditional ‘spring training’ event from Homestead-Miami Speedway.
McElrea, who finished runners up in last year’s USF2000 championship, was only recently signed by Pabst Racing for the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 series.
Despite debuting in an all-new car, McElrea was quickly up to speed, setting a best lap of a 1m18.76s, a mere three-tenths from the day’s fastest – Braden Eves.
It was Eves who beat McElrea to the USF2000 title last year. The duo clearly cementing themselves as front runners in the Indy Pro tier.
“We’d like to be P1 but we’re happy with the car and that’s the most important thing,” said McElrea.
“We just chipped away at it and made the car better and better throughout the weekend.
“The boys did a great job to get us to this point but there’s plenty of more work to be done before St. Pete.
“I am less nervous this year than last year – last year’s race was my first USF2000 and Road to Indy race, and my first street track. It was a good weekend, with double podiums so I’m looking for even better this year.”
Parker Thompson split McElrea and Eves at the chequered flag, finishing only three-thousandths faster than the kiwi.
The test was also shared with the USF2000 grid where 19-year-old Prescott Campbell led the charge across both morning and afternoon sessions.
Hunter McElrea will debut in the Indy Pro 2000 series from the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg week as a support class for the IndyCar championship.