Louis Foster

Louis Foster charged to the top of the leaderboard late in the opening practice Friday for the Detroit Grand Prix, setting the pace by more than four-tenths of a second in INDY NXT by Firestone.

Foster’s best lap on the nine-turn, 1.645-mile temporary street circuit in downtown Detroit was 1 minute, 6.8356 seconds in the No. 26 Copart/Novara Technologies car fielded by Andretti Global. Nolan Siegel was second at 1:07.2513 in the No. 39 HMD Motorsports machine.

SEE: Practice Results

“There are a few places where the track organizers have smoothed over some of the bumps,” Foster said of the challenging circuit. “But it’s still very bumpy, it’s still quite aggressive, and it’s still quite hard to drive. But that’s what makes it so much fun.

“We just continue to do what we’re doing, push forward and hope to get some more wins.”

Foster, who won the most recent race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, captured the pole for both races of the Detroit doubleheader last year and set the track record for the series.

Series points leader Jacob Abel ended up third at 1:07.3609 in the No. 51 Abel Construction car fielded by Abel Motorsports as the top three drivers in the championship standings rose to those spots in the 45-minute practice. Caio Collet was the quickest rookie and fourth overall at 1:07.4695 in the No. 18 HMD Motorsports car.

James Roe rounded out the top five at 1:07.4820 in the No. 29 Topcon machine of Andretti Global.

Four red flags interrupted the practice, two for the stopped cars of Siegel and Yuven Sundaramoorthy and two for separate wall contacts by Lindsay Brewer and Bryce Aron. Rookies Brewer and Aron were unhurt.

Up next for the INDYCAR development series is practice at 8 a.m. ET Saturday, followed by qualifying at 11:20 a.m. (both on INDYCAR LIVE, INDYCAR Radio Network). Live coverage of the 45-lap race starts at 10:20 a.m. ET Sunday on Peacock and the INDYCAR Radio Network.