Scott Hargrove, racing for 8Star Motorsports, has topped the official Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires practice days at Palm Beach International Raceway.
The two days of testing provided teams the first official taste of the new IL15 Lights car powered by a Mazda badged AER engine, which is replacing the previous generation Dallara machine which was introduced in 2002.
But for Hargrove, top of the pile in both of day one’s sessions and second in day two’s session, his dominance is a sign that he should be the man to beat come the first round of the season at St Petersburg.
The Canadian said after the test: “I feel right at home within the team and it showed on the track today. Every change we’ve made is in the right direction, improving the car alongside our engineer. Topping the timing sheets is a nice bonus and I’m very confident we can continue the trend as we continue to work on this new Indy Lights car.”
This dominance is yet another sign that the Mazda Road to Indy Ladder is promoting young talent, in 2013 he won the USF2000 championship before moving up to Pro Mazda and finishing as a runner up. He will be hoping that Indy Lights will see him carrying on that winning mentality.
Indeed praise for Hargrove came right from the top, as 8Star boss Enzo Potolicchio added: “We are incredibly satisfied with the two days of practice, as our engineer was able to accomplish his test plan and we were able to collect the data necessary to continue to develop our Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights. Scott adapted really well to the car and was able to work closely with the team, we are really impressed with his performance.
“8Star is a recognized team in the world of Endurance racing that has many years of Indy Car and Formula 1 experience, and our expectation is to accomplish great results in our first Indy Lights season.”