For the second straight Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda session it is was Cape Motorsports with /WTR sophomore Parker Thompson who led the way with a top lap of 1:24.355. He was followed closely by three drivers from three different teams before reaching his teammate Anthony Martin in fifth. The meat in the Cape Motorsports with /WTR sandwich were James Munro (Team Pelfrey), Jordan Lloyd (Pabst Racing) and Ayla Agren (John Cummiskey Racing). The top five drivers were all within three-tenths of a second of Thompson and the top 10 were all within one second.

The impressive 1:14.1663 lap that Lloyd turned during the morning session held up to all challengers during the second and third session. Sophomore Thompson’s top third session lap was good enough for second and that was followed by Jordan Cane and James Munro, a pair of Team Pelfrey rookies. John Cummiskey Racing sophomore Agren was the fifth quickest of the day.

Outside of some two-ins for minor mechanical issues or harmless spins there were no major incidents during the three hours of track time.

The drivers turned a total of 1,237 (2,845.1 miles) with Agren’s 97 circuits the most of any driver in the field.

Combined Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda time-sheet (Michai Stephens did take part, but was experiencing issues with his transponder):

Place Car No. Driver Quick Lap Session Total Laps
1 21 Jordan Lloyd 1:24.166 Session 1 82
2 2 Parker Thompson 1:24.355 Session 3 74
3 81 Jordan Cane 1:24.389 Session 1 87
4 83 James Munro 1:24.556 Session 3 75
5 33 Ayla Agren 1:24.577 Session 3 97
6 8 Anthony Martin 1:24.686 Session 3 22
7 23 Yufeng Luo 1:24.764 Session 1 70
8 34 Lucas Kohl 1:24.777 Session 3 84
9 82 TJ Fischer 1:24.914 Session 2 68
10 22 Garth Rickards 1:24.916 Session 1 79
11 3 Nikita Lastochkin 1:24.952 Session 3 52
12 80 Robert Megennis 1:24.956 Session 1 80
13 18 Dakota Dickerson 1:25.244 Session 2 68
14 92 Cameron Das 1:25.632 Session 1 73
15 72 Tazio Ottis 1:25.764 Session 1 90
16 20 Clint McMahan 1:26.416 Session 2 51
17 17 Felipe Ortiz 1:27.575 Session 2 59

In another flip-flop, the third and final Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire session of the day saw a trio Team Pelfrey drivers top the time sheets. This time it was sophomore Pato O’Ward who’s quickest lap of 1:20.745 just barely topped his teammate Aaron Telitz and Weiron Tan. A pair of Juncos Racing drivers made up the remainder of the top five.

The entire session ran “clean and green”.

O’Ward’s third session lap was also the quickest of the day. Telitz, Tan, Grist and Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing) made up the remainder of the day’s top five.

The eleven drivers turned a total of 729 laps (1,676.7 miles). National Class driver Jay Horak circulated the 2.3 mile 17-Turn Barber Motorsports Park 91 times, the most of any driver.

Combined Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire time-sheet:

Place Car No. Driver Quick Lap Session Total Laps
1 80 Pato O’Ward 1:20.745 Session 3 58
2 82 Aaron Telitz 1:20.868 Session 1 56
3 81 Weiron Tan 1:21.186 Session 3 52
4 5 Garett Grist 1:21.298 Session 3 66
5 31 Nicolas Dapero 1:21.439 Session 1 54
6 23 Will Owen 1:21.542 Session 3 52
7 3 Jake Edison 1:21.665 Session 3 77
8 2 Nico Jamin 1:21.899 Session 3 55
9 0 Jake Parsons 1:22.237 Session 3 73
10 19 Jorge Cevallos 1:23.498 Session 3 69
11 37 Jay Horak* 1:25.127 Session 3 91


More changes

In addition to an 85,000 square foot addition to the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum that is currently under construction, Barber Motorsports Park is also adding a new viewing area.

In 2015, the 740 acre park-like racing facility constructed a bridge that spanned the track just past Turn 9. Connecting to the museum, this bridge leads to a unique viewing area on the inside of the Turn 8 and Turn 9 complex of corners. This year, construction has begun on a bridge that will link that viewing area with a new 35 foot tall viewing platform under construction on the outside of Turn 4.

Cooper boots

We were able to confirm with a Cooper Tire official that boots being used by the USF2000 series and the Pro Mazda series are the same compound that was utilized in 2015.

The tires used by the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire series on Road and Street courses will also remain unchanged in 2016. However, the oval tires have undergone a slight change in compound.

Pelfrey’s USF2000 improvement

Team Pelfrey’s first year USF2000 program struggled to find a competitive pace at times in 2015, and struggling is not something that the Palmetto, Florida based team is not used to.  So what changed in the off-season? Team Manager Nigel Tuckey told TSO that the entire program got a reboot with all new staffing. Tuckey also explained that having USF2000 veteran Aaron Telitz join their Pro Mazda program has been beneficial to the drivers in USF2000.