Hunter McElrea, in the Giltrap Group/Doric NZ/Miles Advisory Partners sponsored No. 18 won his fifth pole of the season on a wet Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

A wet but clean Indy Pro 2000 qualifying session ended with Pabst Racing sophomore grabbing his fifth pole of the season. That ties him for the series lead with Juncos Hollinger Racing rookie Reece Gold.

Up until the very last second, it looked like newcomer Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing) might grab his first American pole, but the Englishman had to settle for an outside front row result.

Starting behind the front two and representing team champions Exclusive Autosport will be Artem Petrov and Christian Brooks.

The third of three straight Road To Indy got going at 9:30 am. Unfortunately, it was still drizzling, and the track was still thoroughly wet.

Unlike their little and big brothers, USF2000 and Indy Lights, the middle kid kept their 20-minute qualifying session green early and often.

Presumptive champion Christian Rasmussen did not appear during the session. The Dane only needs to start this afternoon’s race to claim the championship, and risking damage on a slick track wasn’t worth it.

At the halfway point of the session, McElrea held the provisional pole, with Petrov, Ahmed, Brooks, and Eves holding down the first five spots on the timing screen.

With eight minutes remaining, returnee Ahmed went too deep into Turn 4, sliding through the grass and getting sideways in the gravel. However, the one-time BRDC British F3 kept the power down and was able to continue.

With 90-seconds remaining, Ahmed went a half second quicker than his competitors, taking the provisional pole.

It looked like the 21-year-old’s lap might stand, but on his tenth of ten laps, the Aussie was able to go a full second quicker.

VP Racing Lubricants Grand Prix Of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying #2 results

1 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing —-
2 22 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Racing 1.0399
3 42 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 1.2010
4 44 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport 1.4592
5 91 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 2.9628
6 3 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 3.2147
7 55 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 3.2653
8 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 5.6868
9 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 8.2105
10 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 11.2706
11 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 11.8283
12 1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development