An exciting full day of Purdue Grand Prix practice ended with Brenden Johnson recording the first time of the year below 26 seconds around the one-third mile, nine turn Purdue Grand Prix Track. With temperatures in the mid-60s and not a cloud in the sky, the Grand Prix field found the grip required for the fastest times of the year. In addition to the great weather, the four and a half hour practice opportunity allowed the track to increase in grip as more rubber was laid down.
The one to beat from the onset of Saturday’s practice session, Johnson’s recorded a best lap of 25.969, a half second from the unofficial track record, a 25.418 set by Jimmy Simpson in practice last year. After leading Friday’s practice and finishing to Simpson in last year’s main event as a rookie, Johnson is slated to be the favorite in this year’s event.
Kyle Tilley recorded the second fastest lap of the day, just 0.098 behind Johnson. Tilley’s session was not completed without incident, however, as the Cary Racing driver lost a wheel on his kart near the end of the practice session. The short mishap would not stop the team, as the team wasted no time getting the No. 14 back to the track.
Adam Jennerjhan piloted the No. 24 sister Cary Racing kart to third overall in the session. Jennerjhan pushed his kart today as time began to fall, lifting the inside tires as he raced through the twisting circuit. Many times he placed his kart through Turn 9 hovering the inside front tire over the grass on the inside of the circuit.
Two more IUPUI competitors completed the top five. James Schnabel earned fourth overall in the IUPUI No. 2 with a time of 26.498. Rookie Abby Willis’s 26.550 was fast enough to bump Camden Speth out of the top five. The IUPUI Society of Women Engineers racer put all three IUPUI entries in the top five of today’s session.
The Purdue Grand Prix field will take two days off before returning to the track next Tuesday to start the second week of practice for the 60th Running of the Purdue Grand Prix. Slipstream Network will continue live coverage resuming at 5:30 PM ET on Tuesday.