The battle between Team Pelfrey teammates Pato O’Ward and Aaron Telitz continues to take center stage as the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires heads to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Entering the weekend, they’re both tied with 297 points. O’Ward has six victories to Telitz’s five in the first 11 races, with five races remaining.
But both have embarked on a series of streaks. O’Ward, the 17-year-old Mexican in the No. 80 Topo Chico/Gap Guard car, won six of the first seven, including five in a row from Barber through Lucas Oil Raceway. Telitz has now won four in a row though at Road America and Toronto in his No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems car.
There’s also a tie for third in points with the surging Nico Jamin, who’s scored three straight podiums in the Soul Red No. 2 Mazda, now level with Juncos Racing’s Will Owen in his No. 23 AMR entry. Jamin swept the three USF2000 races at Mid-Ohio last year.
Elsewhere the field of 10 features Owen’s Juncos Racing teammates, the rookie pair of Nicolas Dapero and Jake Parsons, TJ Fischer in the third Pelfrey car and a trio of National class entries, Bobby Eberle, Bob Kaminsky and Kevin Davis, although Davis has been a no-show in sessions thus far. Jorge Cevallos, who was entered in a second Cape car at Toronto, is not here this weekend.
Testing took place on Thursday before official sessions took place on Friday.
Not a ton to report from the 30-minute first and only official practice before qualifying on Friday, run in warm, clear conditions.
Telitz topped the timesheets with a best time of 1:19.062, ahead of the three Juncos Racing entries, led by Dapero in second at a 1:19.152.
O’Ward and Fischer were fifth and sixth, with Jamin only able to clock two laps in the session.
Times are below:
|10||44||Kevin Davis||No Time||—||—|
Something weird happened in Pro Mazda qualifying at Mid-Ohio.
A track record fell for the first time in 10 years, and it wasn’t a member of Team Pelfrey on the pole position.
Indeed Nico Jamin, who won all three USF2000 races last year at Mid-Ohio, delivered a 1:18.1385 in the No. 2 Soul Red Mazda for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, which eclipsed a 10-year-old mark by Ryan Justice in May 2006, at 1:18.300.
Aaron Telitz was actually first to eclipse the track record mark at 1:18.207 before Jamin got ahead by that half a tenth.
The pole position for Jamin is his first in Pro Mazda and ends a run of pole positions for the Team Pelfrey team that’s lasted the entire year. Team Pelfrey has won each of the first 11 races, while Jamin has come closest to ending that run with the three podiums in a row entering Mid-Ohio.
In the Team Pelfrey internal battle, Telitz still emerged ahead in second while Pato O’Ward was only fifth, and TJ Fischer seventh.
Jake Parsons led Juncos Racing’s trio of drivers with a solid third; the Australian seeks a clean weekend after a couple incidents in Toronto.
Qualifying times are below.
Pro Mazda is next on track for Round 12 of its season and its first race of the weekend. It runs from the 8:35 to 9:25 a.m. ET and local time window, with a 40-minute race scheduled.