LEXINGTON, Ohio — NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie Callum Ilott continued to move up the speed charts in the No. 77 Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) Chevrolet throughout the weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. However race day would be derailed by a mechanical failure on lap-57. Ilott, who started the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio in tenth, would end the day 23rd.
Ilott made his first appearance on the 2.258 mile, 13-turn road course at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice session Friday afternoon, finishing 21st. Saturday morning kicked off with the final practice session where Ilott improved to 18th, before qualifying that afternoon.
Three rounds of knock out qualifying kicked off Saturday afternoon, with Ilott in the first group of the first round. Ilott, who has advanced out of all first rounds of qualifying on the road courses so far this season, once again advanced in the No. 77 JHR Chevrolet to the second round. Ilott would not make it out of the second round but would settle for a fifth row starting position in 10th.
Sunday morning the NTT INDYCAR SERIES returned for a 30-minute warm up session before the race that afternoon. The strong run continued for Ilott who would finish the session fifth quickest overall.
The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio began just after 12:30PM EST under warm, sunny conditions. Ilott, who started 10th, maintained his position throughout the first part of the race before the first caution came out on lap-9. Ilott went on to make his first pit stop just a few laps before the second caution of the day on lap-30. The third caution followed quickly after when another car went off track during the restart. Ilott was running 14th before a mechanical failure would retire the No. 77 JHR Chevrolet on lap-57. Ilott’s first appearance at Mid-Ohio came to a close, finishing 23rd.
“Had a bit of a disappointing end to that one and unfortunately ended with a bit of flames of behind us,” said Ilott. “Just coming to the final restart, I think it was p 11 and it just went on me, unfortunately. But you know, we’ll come back stronger to fight another day is a shame because we had great pace, especially on the blacks as well as reds. We struggled with a bit I had to get the balance back in the window at the first stop. But yeah, hopefully the guys can be happy with the performance up to that point. Next one’s Toronto street circuit. Yeah. That’s why I’m so excited.”