Nolan Siegel

Rookie Nolan Siegel was the fastest driver Friday afternoon on the new Streets of Detroit circuit during the opening practice for the INDY NXT by Firestone Detroit Grand Prix.

Siegel led with a top lap of 1 minute, 7.0420 seconds in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports with DCR entry on the nine-turn, 1.7-mile street circuit in downtown Detroit. The 50-minute practice was the only session before qualifying, which starts at 5:30 p.m. ET today (INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network).

SEE: Practice Results

“It was a really good first practice session,” Siegel said. “With no one knowing the track, it was a new and interesting session for everyone. I got up to speed quickly. The HMD car was perfect from the start to the finish – we never made a change. This is as strong of a start we could have hoped for going into qualifying.”

This weekend features the first of two doubleheaders of the season for INDYCAR’s developmental series. Race 1 is at noon Saturday, with Race 2 at 12:45 p.m. Sunday (both live on Peacock, INDYCAR Radio Network). Both races are 45 laps or 55 minutes, whichever comes first.

Hunter McElrea was second quickest this afternoon at 1:07.1825 in the No. 27 Smart Motors car fielded by Andretti Autosport. Danial Frost was third at 1:07.2214 in the No. 68 HMD Motorsports with DCR machine.

Kyffin Simpson ended up fourth at 1:07.6221 in the No. 21 HMD Motorsports with CGR car, while rookie Louis Foster rounded out the top five at 1:07.8422 in the No. 26 Copart/USF Pro Championship machine fielded by Andretti Autosport.

Championship leader Christian Rasmussen ended up at the bottom of the speed charts as mechanical problems with the No. 6 HMD Motorsports with DCR car kept him in the pits until the closing minutes of the session.