Carlin's Leist storms to pole in Indianapolis
 May 26, 2017| 
  • Team News
SPEEDWAY, Ind. -- Carlin’s Matheus Leist will line up in pole position for the Freedom 100 on Friday, the jewel in the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. The 18-year-old Brazilian, who made his debut at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this week, was the only driver to break the 199 mph barrier in a delayed qualifying session this afternoon. Team mateZachery Claman DeMelo will line up fifth, Neil Alberico seventh, just ahead of Garth Rickards eighth completing a strong outing for the Carlin team.

Heavy rain this morning severely delayed today’s practice and qualifying sessions. In a condensed schedule with just 20 minutes between sessions, the pressure was on to make any final tweaks to the team’s quartet of IL-15 cars before qualifying. 

In the randomly drawn qualifying order, all four Carlin drivers were amongst the first drivers out, with Alberico first to take to the track. In conditions very different to Monday’s practice sessions, DeMelo, Alberico and Rickards were all lying in top positions as the rest of the field took to the track. 

Taking his turn to set two flying laps on the historic oval, Leist looked immediately on the pace, going P1 on his first lap. A second impressive lap gave the young Brazilian an average speed of 199.198, making the Carlin man the only driver to break the 199 mph barrier. 

Watching the remainder of the session from the pit lane, Leist anxiously waited to see if any of his competitors could better his average speed. Former Carlin driver Colton Herta came closest, with a time of 198.648, but as qualifying concluded, Leist remained the fastest driver, claiming his first Indy Lights pole. 

Speaking about his pole position, Leist said “It was a long wait today, I think it probably meant everyone was a little more nervous than normal. I didn’t know if we really had this pace, but I’m glad that we did, I’m pretty happy with this. This is my first oval race, my first pole position in Indy Lights. Everything is new for me here but I’m happy with the car the team gave me today.”

The Freedom 100 will take place at 12.30 local time tomorrow.
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