After four straight poles by Pato O’Ward, it was home state Wisconsin driver Aaron Telitz who thrilled his 70+ guests by scorching the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire field by over one second to also take over the qualifying track record. This is the Rice Lake, Wisconsin native’s third pole of the season and the 24 year-olds third Mazda Road To Indy pole.
Telitz’s final lap of the session clocked in at 2:04.782 which was 1.0461 seconds ahead of Juncos Racing rookie Jake Parsons and almost a half-second ahead of Pablo Donoso’s qualifying record of 2:05.302 which had stood since 2006.
The Pro Mazda qualifying session to set the grid for the first Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America doubleheader began a little late at 1:33pm.
With 15 minutes left in the session and it was Wisconsin native Aaron Telitz who was the quickest at a lap of 2:05.6080. Nico Jamin, Nicolas Dapero, Jake Parsons and championship leader Pato O’Ward was fifth.
All ten drivers completed four or five laps before heading to their crews to make adjustments and put on a set fresh Cooper Tire slicks.
With only five minutes left in the session, nothing had changed up front with all 10 entries back on track.
With three minutes left in the session, Telitz went even quicker with a lap at 2:05.106, and was able to lower that again on his final hot lap.
Parson’s was also able to improve his lap time on his final lap to snag the outside front row starting spot. Nico Jamin will be joined by Nicolas Dapero on the second row. The fourth place start is the best road or street course for the 17 year-old Argentinian.
Championship leader O’Ward will have to show some patience while starting from the fifth spot, the 17 year-olds worst qualifying effort in 2016.
Drivers were able to complete eight to 10 laps.
The complete Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire qualifying results:
Pro Mazda will race twice on Saturday. Green flag for race #1 flies at 8:55am and race #2 rolls off at 2:05pm.