Serralles posts quick time for Mazda Road to Indy title-winning team at NOLA
NEW ORLEANS, LA (February 19, 2015) – The 2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season is now in full swing, as the teams finished up two cool days of testing at NOLA Motorsports Park on Wednesday and Thursday as part of this year’s Cooper Tire Winterfest. Belardi Auto Racing’s Felix Serralles topped the 11-car field on the opening day timesheets, turning a pace-setting 1:25.068 late in the second session of the day. The Puerto Rican pilot logged a total of 62 laps on Thursday on the new 2.75-mile, 13-turn ‘Indy’ layout of the track. During the three-hour morning session on Thursday, Felix and his engineer worked diligently on their plan and ended up third in the order, dropping his fast time to a 1:24.656.
“The test was great, we’ve been learning about the car every session since Palm Beach, throughout all the tests,” Serralles offered. “And besides the expected little issues that come with having a new car, we are finally on the right path. The car felt great and I’m really looking forward to Barber to continue the development.”
The cold front that is sweeping through the southeast has prompted the Indy Lights staff to postpone the scheduled series test on February 24-25 to a full day test session at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday, March 3.
The morning session on Wednesday got off to a late start due to the colder temperatures at NOLA Motorsports Park, which dipped into the high 30s and low 40s. Once the mercury had risen high enough to get track clearance from the Cooper Tire technicians, Belardi Auto Racing released both Serralles and his teammate Juan Piedrahita onto the track for limited action. Serralles logged just four laps in the morning session, while Piedrahita ran 19 laps. In the afternoon session, with the temperatures in the high 50s, Serralles and his engineers worked on specific set-ups for tracks that will be run on this season, and their late day push for a quick lap resulted in the fast time of the day. Piedrahita wasn’t as lucky, as he had an off-track incident early in the Wednesday afternoon session that damaged his Dallara IL-15, sidelining him for the remainder of the test.