McElrea stars in Road To Indy testing

Hunter McElrea at the wheel of a USF2000 car in the Road To Indy test

New Zealander Hunter McElrea was the quickest USF2000 driver on both days of the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The current Australian Formula Ford points leader returned to the US for his second test with Pabst Racing after an outing at the same circuit in 2017 in the wings and slicks machinery.

McElrea’s fastest lap, a 1:24.5064s in the fourth session, unofficially broke the USF2000 Indianapolis road course track record, with the Kiwi topping three out of the six test sessions over the weekend.

The 18-year old turned a total of 155 laps at the wheel of the Mazda-powered car, with his time proving 0.1s quicker than USF2000 regular Darren Keane on the 3.9km track.

“First, many thanks to everyone at Pabst,” McElrea said.

“It was an amazing experience to be driving with these guys. We ended up P1 overall and I am really happy with that. Obviously, that’s where you want to be.

“There are a few things that I need to work on, but overall I’m very happy and it’s an amazing experience to be driving a USF2000 car here at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“My dream is to be an IndyCar driver and I would obviously start here on the Mazda Road to Indy.

“You start off in USF2000 with the aim of progressing through into IndyCar and that is for sure what I want to do.

“I am massively happy for this opportunity and want to thank all my supporters who made it possible for me. I didn’t have any expectations coming into the weekend.
“I just wanted to make sure I did my best and I knew I was in really great hands with these guys.”

Cameron Shields on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pic: LLC Photography

Australian rising star Cameron Shields was also testing at the Indianapolis road course at the wheel of a Juncos Racing Pro Mazda car.

The Toowoomba native ended up seventh fastest in the combined times for the Pro Mazda field with a best lap of 1:20.0128s in session three after logging more than 130 laps over the two days.

Shields, a recent Sport Australia Hall of Fame mentorship recipient, missed the Australian Formula 4 round at Sydney Motorsport Park for what was his first appearance in the annual Road to Indy test.

Ryan Norman topped the outright Indy Lights times for Andretti Autosport with a best of 1:14.9283s.

The winner of the 2018 Australian Formula Ford series will receive a ticket into the Mazda Road To Indy Shootout which could land them a drive in one of the respective ladder series.

Only two rounds remain in the 2018 Formula Ford season, with McElrea currently in the box seat to take out the title as he and Shields return to Australian soil for Round 6 at Phillip Island this weekend (September 28-30).

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