By Steve Wittich
Artem Petrov led an Indy Pro 2000 practice session on a natural terrain road course for the fourth time this season and will look to convert his practice pace into his first pole of the season. The Exclusive Autosport veteran was the quickest driver during the season’s final Indy Pro 2000 practice session, turning a lap of 77.7372 seconds.
Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Reece Gold was a slim hundredth of a second behind Petrov and will look to capture his series-best sixth pole tomorrow morning.
Christian Rasmussen, a Jay Howard Driver Development rookie, and championship leader had the third quickest time and was one of six drivers within a half-second of Petrov.
The second championship contender, Petrov’s Exclusive Autosport teammate Braden Eves ended up ninth on the timesheets.
The lone 30-minute practice in preparation for the championship-deciding VP Racing Lubricants Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader got underway at 4 pm. The bright but lowering October sun cast long shadows across the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course, with the temperature falling into the upper 60s.
Outside of one red flag, the session ran cleanly, with the dozen entries completing 191 circuits of the undulating road course.
The only red flag was for Christian Brooks, who is making the step-up from USF2000 to Indy Pro 2000 this weekend. His Hot Wheels/Chaco Flaco/Bell Helmets sponsored No. 44 came to a stop in the gravel trap on the driver’s left at the exit of Turn 9. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to get him back on track, and he could continue.
Gold was the quickest of the bunch when the red flag came out, with Petrov, McElrea, Abel, and Rasmussen rounding out the top five.
VP Racing Lubricants Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires practice #1
|RANK||NO.||NAME||TEAM||FAST TIME||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||42||Artem Petrov||Exclusive Autosport||1:17.7372||——||15|
|2||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Racing||1:17.7525||0.0153||17|
|3||1||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:17.9417||0.2045||15|
|4||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||1:18.1307||0.3935||16|
|5||3||James Roe||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:18.2068||0.4696||17|
|6||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||1:18.2136||0.4764||17|
|7||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:18.4580||0.7208||16|
|8||22||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Racing||1:18.4673||0.7301||17|
|9||91||Braden Eves||Exclusive Autosport||1:18.5150||0.7778||15|
|10||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1:18.8583||1.1211||14|
|11||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:19.0725||1.3353||16|
|12||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1:19.5791||1.8419||16|
If haven’t already, you can read our finale preview here –>
The remainder of the Indy Pro 2000 schedule is as follows:
Saturday, October 2
- 10:20am – 10:50am – Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying #1
- 2:05pm – 2:50pm – Indy Pro 2000 Race #1
Sunday, October 3
- 9:30am – 10am – Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying #2
- 1:10pm – 2pm – Indy Pro 2000 Race #2
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