Photo: Joe Skibinski/Penske Entertainment

Rookie Callum Ilott Leads Final Practice at Barber

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Callum Ilott has shown steady progression through the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, climbing all the way to the top of the scoring pylon in Saturday’s final practice session for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

With a lap of one minute, 7.0906 seconds, the driver of the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing Chevrolet beat out defending NTT IndyCar Series champion Alex Palou to close out the day as the fastest driver.

The Englishman started the weekend with an eighth place run in practice on Friday, which he followed up with a ninth-place practice result on Saturday morning. He also secured the 11th place starting spot on the grid with a strong run in qualifying before turning up the wick in final practice to jump to the top of the board.

“Pace is good. We’ve learned a few things I have to say,” Ilott said. “Obviously, P1 is good, but it’s just warmup. Let’s see. Pace is good, which is better than normal.

“We just need to sort out the tires, which is still a bit of an unknown going into the race. But this one is more of a fuel game than a tire game, so hopefully we don’t get caught out.

“Good, good, good day in the office.”

Following Ilott and Palou was Marcus Ericsson, Scott Dixon, Alexander Rossi, Scott McLaughlin, Takuma Sato, Christian Lundgaard, David Malukas, and Colton Herta. The 30-minute session saw one stoppage, when Tatiana Calderon skidded off track in Turn 1, forcing a red flag for her car to be pulled out of the gravel.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.