Danial Frost started the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Alabama race weekend hot by pacing Friday’s sole Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires practice session.
Frost turned a best lap of 1 minute, 12.6511 seconds in the No. 68 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car around Barber Motorsports Park after being the first driver to dip below the 1:13 mark.
SEE: Practice Results
Frost, from Singapore, showed his strength throughout practice, besting his top lap of the session multiple times in the 45-minute practice around the 17-turn, 2.3-mile road course.
“We’re just kind of getting in the rhythm of things and starting off the weekend pretty well,” Frost said. “It’s always about momentum, so we’ve got a good start. I think it’s going to be pretty good for the rest of the weekend right now.”
Last year’s Indy Pro 2000 champion Christian Rasmussen was second fastest in the No. 28 Road to Indy/Stellrecht car at 1:12.6684, with 2021 Barber-1 winner Linus Lundqvist third at 1:12.8248 in the No. 26 HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing car and Benjamin Pedersen fourth at 1:12.8544 in the No. 24 Global Racing Group with HMD car.
Hunter McElrea rounded out the top five at 1:13.0577 in the No. 27 Andretti Autosport car.
So far this weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, the Indy Lights field appears to be incredibly close on the time sheet. The top 10 drivers are separated by less than a second, as Jacob Abel produced the 10th-best time at 1:13.4244 in the No. 51 Abel Speedwagon, just .7733 of a second behind Frost’s quick time.
“Now we have to keep digging in and looking for more time, because these guys are going to be doing the exact same thing,” Frost said. “Fourteen cars behind me looking for the same spot as I am. I have to do the actual work and now look for where I can find a little bit more.”
Abel was at the center of the most noteworthy incident to come out of practice. As time was running out in the session, he exited Turn 4 side-by-side with Kyffin Simpson in the No. 21 TJ Speed Motorsports car. Abel dipped his right-side tires off track and did a 360-degree spin, but he sustained no damage to the car and continued.
Indy Lights will be back in action Saturday for practice at noon (ET), followed by qualifying at 3:35 p.m. The INDYCAR Live! streaming platform and the INDYCAR Radio Network will provide live coverage of both sessions.