DEForce Racing rookie Manuel Sulaiman will start on the pole in Indy Pro 2000 race #2 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

By Steve Wittich

For the third time this season, DEForce Racing rookie Manuel Sulaiman will lead the Indy Pro 2000 field to the green flag.

After missing out on the pole in Race #1 by five-hundredths of a second, the 20-year-old from Mexico City, Mexico returned the favor, beating current championship leader Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing) to the pole by two-hundredths of a second.

Starting in the second row are Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing) and Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing).

The third row features Race #1 pole winner Danial Frost (Turn 3 Motorsport) and Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing).

The top nine times were within one second of Sulaiman’s pole-winning lap time.

The sixth and final Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires session of track activity, an Indy Pro 2000 qualifying session, got underway at 4:10 pm.

Much like the earlier qualifying session, the DEForce Racing duo of Manuel Sulaiman and Parker Thompson were the quickest drivers early.

Just after the eight-minute mark of the session, the red flag came out for Artem Petrov, who made contact with the barriers and came to a stop on the edge of the track surface in Turn 10.

When the green flag came out with six minutes remaining, the Sulaiman had a few-hundredths in hand over his DEForce Racing teammate Thompson.

Over the last 90 seconds of the qualifying session, Robb and Sulaiman traded the provisional pole position twice.

The track continued to get better until the final lap of qualifying, with eight drivers setting their quickest laps on their last lap. McElrea, Frost, DeFrancesco, and de la Vera (DEForce Racing) all improved their starting spots on their final lap.

Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports) and Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!) both had mechanical issues during qualifying and will start together on the final row.

The first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend rolls off at 12:15 pm on Saturday.

Surgere Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Qualifying #2 unofficial results

1 8 Manuel Sulaiman DEForce Racing 1:16.063 –.—-
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:16.092 0.0291
3 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1:16.311 0.2482
4 9 Parker Thompson DEForce Racing 1:16.540 0.4774
5 68 Danial Frost Turn 3 Motorsport 1:16.715 0.6518
6 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:16.774 0.7114
7 19 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:16.810 0.7472
8 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:17.031 0.9679
9 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:17.114 1.0513
10 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:17.836 1.7735
11 42 Artem Petrov Juncos Racing 1:18.168 2.1049
12 57 Bob Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:21.029 4.9660
13 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 6:36.862 5:20.7990
14 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing No Time