Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires rookie Kyffin Simpson brought home 9th place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course over the July 4th holiday weekend, overcoming tire wear and a late race restart to secure a 5th consecutive top-10 result in 2022.
Despite a strong showing in the opening practice session around the 13-turn course, the #21 TJ Motorsports machine proved tricky to master in qualifying and race trim, ultimately limiting Simpson’s ability to progress through the field.
Starting from the outside of the 6th row, Kyffin took immediate action at the green to overtake Ernie Francis Jr. for the 11th spot, before setting his sights on Andretti Autosport’s Danial Frost ahead. Unfortunately for Frost, he would suffer a mechanical failure 3 laps into the 35-lap race, elevating Simpson to 10th place overall.
For the next 17 laps, Kyffin pushed to close in on Serravalle in 9th, but with the tight, twisting nature of Mid-Ohio and the added factor of tire wear coming into play, the #21 found few opportunities to make a pass as the field settled into their respective positions.
Kyffin’s teammate James Roe Jr. then found the gravel at turn 1, closing the field for a 10-lap sprint to the chequered flag. Not long after the restart, Jacob Abel spun and re-joined 13th to promote Simpson to P9, who was still within striking distance of Serravalle ahead.
Unfortunately for the young Caymanian, the remaining laps proved to be strung-out and uneventful. Tire wear was now significantly affecting his pace, so Simpson focused on bringing home the #21 with a consistent stint to close the weekend.
After the race, Kyffin said:
“Not the best race… it was tough to pass today. I managed to make up some places in the opening laps, but as we got into the race it became more about tire management than anything else.”
“We can take experience from today into the next round, and I’m confident I can make progress at Iowa. I won’t stop pushing for better; we deserve to be fighting at the front every weekend.”
Simpson returns to the cockpit on July 22nd-24th for Round 9 of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires – the Hyvee INDYCAR Race Weekend at Iowa Speedway. Fans can follow live coverage on the NTT INDYCAR SERIES website and mobile apps, and can support Kyffin on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Kyffin is supported by Ridgeline Lubricants, InvestCayman, Visit Cayman Islands, Boddens Legal, Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Simpson Race Products, GoPro action cameras, Spy sunglasses and Kokoro Media.