By Steve Wititch
The final official USF2000 practice session of the 2017 season was led by Calvin Ming. The native of Guyana turned a lap at 106.685 seconds – that equates to an average of 113.718mph over the course of the 3.4-mile, 11 Turn Watkins Glen International road course.
DE Force Racing driver Kory Enders was just under three-tenths of a second behind Ming, with championship leader Oliver Askew another three-tenths back.
Kaylen Frederick (Pabst Racing), David Malukas (BN Racing), Andres Gutierrez (DE Force Racing), Phillipe Denes (Team Pelfrey) and Niall Murray (Newman Wachs Racing) were all within one second of Ming.
The second USF2000 practice session for the season ending Mazda USF2000 Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires race got underway under partly sunny skies at 1pm, and the entire session was run under green flag conditions.
At the half-way point of the session, it was a lap of 107.411 seconds by Pabst Racing rookie Ming that topped the half-hour session. The remainder of the top 10 were: David Malukas, Kory Enders, Darren Keane, Oliver Askew, Naill Murray, Andres Gutierrez, Kaylen Frederick, Phillipe Denes, and Lucas Kohl.
Impressively, the Newman Wachs Racing team were able to get the No. 36 Mazda powered Tatuus of Darren Keane repaired and 17 year-old was able to turn the 9th quickest lap of the session.
Rinus VeeKay, who is trailing Askew by 13 points heading into the “Soul Red Finale,” only turned three laps.
Pabst Racing team owner Augie Pabst told us that they were holding back two sets of sticker Cooper Tires tires to allow themselves some options come qualifying and race day. If VeeKay, who was the quickest in the morning practice, and in recent testing at Watkins Glen International, is on provisional pole, they will save a fresh set of tires for the race. If their qualifying isn’t where it needs to be, they will have a second set of tires to try and improve Veejay’s starting position.
Mazda USF2000 Watkins Glen Grand Prix Presented by Cooper Tires practice # results
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The USF2000 drivers and teams are back on track bright and early for qualifying tomorrow (Saturday, September 3) morning at 8am.
Don’t miss any of the action:
- live timing – Indy Lights, Pro Mazda, USF2000, and IndyCar Race Control
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- on all social media channels via the #TeamCooperTire and #MRTI hashtags