Colin Kaminsky kicked off the 2022 racing season in the Indy Pro 2000 category, running with Pabst Racing. On a shortened budget, allowing the duo to only run five rounds together, they achieved a solid stretch of three podiums in a span of four races. Including a third place, and two runner up finishes at both Barber Motorsports Park and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Unfortunately financial concerns hindered the season just after Road America, leaving Kaminsky without a drive for the reminder of the year. That was until the opportunity came up to test an Indy Lights machine in a one-off test day with the hopes of attracting some potential investors for a full Indy Lights campaign in 2023.
Sebring was the scene of Kaminsky’s maiden voyage in a Dallara IL-15, the current chassis for the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. The 1.7 mile test track layout that divides the full circuit into two provides plenty of bumps, surface changes, and daring corners. Making it the perfect venue for new drivers and teams to get to grips with their machines in preparation for the season. However, Kaminsky’s first laps came in an unusual time frame, being the middle of the Florida summer as opposed to the typical pre-season testing in January. 96 degrees Fahrenheit and no cloud cover meant for a physically demanding day for the seven drivers taking part in the one day test.
Colin joined Abel Motorsports for the day, piloting the #61 car, alongside regular series runner, Jacob Abel. The team is in their first season of competition in the Indy Lights series, moving up from the Indy Pro 2000 series last year in 2021. However, the vast experience of personnel behind the Abel Motorsports outfit is plentiful in the Indy Lights series.
This test day was the perfect opportunity for Kaminsky to see where he stacked up amongst current Indy Lights race winners. In attendance at the test was the Andretti quartet of Matthew Brabham, Hunter McElrea, Christian Rasmussen, and Sting Ray Robb. Kaminsky’s Aforementioned teammate for the day, Jacob Abel, and Force Indy’s Ernie Francis Jr. rounded out the field. The competition was in full force and Kaminsky would be able to see exactly how he stacks up to current Indy Lights competition, after being out of the Indy Pro 2000 car for nearly two months.
Kaminsky earned the Iron Man status for the scorching hot day, turning 136 laps totaling 231 miles, the most of any driver. With two sessions in the morning hours, Kaminsky was an impressive fourth quickest on the time sheets on just his first outing on fresh sticker Cooper Tires. After getting more acclimated to the car, the team worked together in the afternoon to make some sizable setup changes to start feeling how the car would respond in Colin’s hands. He would end the day sixth quickest out of the seven drivers participating, with a difference of .51 tenths to the fastest lap turned at the test. More remarkably, in just his first day in the car, Kaminsky finished just behind series race winner, Rasmussen, by .09 hundredths, and beat out series regular Ernie Francis Jr. by a couple of hundredths.
It is always hard to judge performance on a test day. Everyone knows that teams are always testing different setups, or car performance items that can vastly fluctuate lap times. Nevertheless, ending the day a half second behind multi-year series veterans and just .39 tenths behind the quickest rookie, Hunter McElrea, is a positive takeaway and a glimpse of what could be possible in the future for Kaminsky if given the opportunity in the Indy Lights series.
A Personal Note from Colin: The Indy Lights series is headed to the west coast in just over three weeks for the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Portland over Labor Day weekend, September 3rd and 4th. As well as a double header event, the Indy Lights Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca taking place the following weekend, September 10th and 11th. Following the conclusion of the test, Abel Motorsports has extended the opportunity to drive these three races on the west coast to close out the 2022 Indy Lights season. I currently have partial funding and I am seeking immediate financial help through either individual or associate sponsorships. Furthermore, I am in the process of looking for sponsors to help me campaign the full 2023 Indy Lights season next year. If helping an up and coming local driver is something that peaks your interest as well as networking at IndyCar events, please do not hesitate to reach out so we can discuss the possibilities of supporting me. For best form of contact my email is firstname.lastname@example.org