By Steve Wittich
For the first time this season, double race-winner Christian Brooks (Exclusive Autosport) led the lone practice session of a race weekend.
The 26 entries (minus one driver) for the USF2000 Grand Prix Of Indianapolis Presented by Cooper Tires triple-header took to the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at 2:30 pm for their lone practice session of the race weekend.
Unfortunately, Jay Howard Driver Development rookie Jackson Lee missed the practice session. Due to COVID protocols, the USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 are not in the bubble with the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and Indy Lights and only have one opportunity to get to pit lane. If that opportunity is missed, the driver has to sit out that session. Lee missing practice was not the first time that a driver missed a session today. Let’s hope for the driver’s sakes; it’s the last.
Drivers utilized a carry-over set of tires, so times aren’t terribly representative of what to expect during qualifying.
Brooks held the top spot on the timing screens early in the session, holding onto that spot for the entire session.
After fifteen of 30 minutes, Brooks best lap time was 85.0219 seconds, almost two-tenths-of-a-second quicker than Spike Kohlbecker (Ignite Autosport w/Cape Motorsports), who was followed in the top five by Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), and Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport).
Because drivers were on used tires, the usual last-minute fliers were not as common, with a pair of DEForce Racing drivers – Nolan Siegel and Kiko Porto – the only drivers to crack into the top ten in the second half of the session.
USF2000 Grand Prix Of Indianapolis Presented by Cooper Tires Practice Session #1 Timesheet
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1:25.0171||——||16|
|2||5||Spike Kohlbecker||Ignite Autosports w/Cape Motorsports||1:25.1897||0.1726||18|
|3||10||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||1:25.1986||0.1815||16|
|4||22||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:25.2122||0.1951||20|
|5||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:25.4402||0.4231||17|
|6||33||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:25.4771||0.4600||17|
|7||24||Josh Pierson||Pabst Racing||1:25.4821||0.4650||21|
|8||12||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:25.5018||0.4847||15|
|9||99||Myles Rowe||Force Indy||1:25.5057||0.4886||16|
|10||92||Matt Round-Garrido||Exclusive Autosport||1:25.5949||0.5778||15|
|11||19||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||1:25.6080||0.5909||15|
|12||34||Dylan Christie||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:25.6618||0.6447||17|
|13||2||Thomas Nepveu||Cape Motorsports||1:25.6997||0.6826||18|
|14||91||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||1:25.7309||0.7138||18|
|15||29||Erik Evans||Velocity Racing Development||1:25.7912||0.7741||15|
|16||11||Prescott Campbell||DEForce Racing||1:25.7963||0.7792||15|
|17||6||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:25.7968||0.7797||16|
|18||23||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1:25.8252||0.8081||19|
|19||9||Peter Vodanovich||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:25.8444||0.8273||13|
|20||1||Ely Navarro||DEForce Racing||1:25.8950||0.8779||16|
|21||63||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||1:26.0948||1.0777||17|
|22||16||Kent Vaccaro||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:26.1308||1.1137||16|
|23||3||Evan Stamer||Ignite Autosports w/Cape Motorsports||1:26.1961||1.1790||19|
|24||42||Michael Myers||Michael Myers Racing||1:26.2308||1.2137||14|
|25||90||Grant Palmer||Exclusive Autosport||1:26.2909||1.2738||20|
|26||8||Jackson Lee||Jay Howard Driver Development||No Time||—||—|
The series had 100-minutes of testing earlier today, with Sundaramoorthy leading both sessions. The American-born Indian driver asked fans to help support the relief effort for the horrible COVID situation in India.
As you know, India is facing a second wave of Covid. The world is racing to send needed resources and help save lives. If you’re able, I encourage you to donate at https://t.co/hQ3W4rgtua. 🙏@IndiasporaForum / @chalo_give pic.twitter.com/57mkszMK8t
— Yuven Sundaramoorthy (@YuvenRacing) May 9, 2021
Sundaramoorthy, Porto, d’Orlando, Siegel, Kohlbecker, Josh Pierson (Pabst Racing), and Green were the drivers in the top ten during both test sessions.
The bottom rung of the Road To Indy ladder is back on track at 5 pm for qualifying.