By Steve Wittich
These are the basic race notes. We’ll update this story this evening.
We have a quick update on Exclusive Autosport rookie Christian Brooks before getting to the race notes. The good news is Brooks was released from medical and cleared to drive. The bad news is that his car is unrepairable and will not participate in the remainder of the weekend.
When the call to fire the 2.0L engines powering the 15 Indy Pro 2000 entries came at 11:40 am, the sky was cloudless, and the temperature was approaching 80F.
All cars fired, and after a single pace lap, Green and Ahmed led the field to starter Aaron Likens and the season’s first green flag.
Green got a fantastic jump on the field, but behind him, the action was fast and furious, with the fight for second place side-by-side through the tight Turn 5-6-7.
Inside second-row starter, Siegel lost two spots, dropping to fifth on the first lap.
After the first of 25 scheduled laps, the running order was: Green, Ahmed, Foster, Eves, Siegel, Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Reece Gold (Juncos Racing), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), Matthew Round-Garrido (Exclusive Autosport), Salvador de Alba (Jay Howard Driver Development), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing) and Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport).
Things settled in at the front of the field, with Green holding a 1.4-second lead after five laps of action. Ahmed had one second over third-place Foster, who was facing pressure from Eves.
Things were still really tight after ten laps of action, with the top ten all within ten seconds of Green, whose lead was still 1.3 seconds over Ahmed. Green had just turned his quickest lap of the race, but Brichacek, running in sixth, who had the fastest lap of the race while pressuring Siegel for fifth.
Unfortunately for the veteran, he visited the run-off area on Lap 13 and fell down the running order, settling into the 13th spot.
With ten laps remaining, the gap between leader Brown and Ahmed was only 1.1 seconds, who had a somewhat comfortable gap to Foster.
On the next lap, Ahmed turned the quickest lap of the race, closing the gap to 0.7 seconds and putting pressure on the leader.
Foster had been facing pressure from Eves, but by lap 18 had built up his lead for the final spot of the podium to just over three seconds.
With seven laps remaining and the field for Saturday’s race set via quickest race laps, the drivers outside of the top ten came to the pit road to bolt on a fresh set up Cooper Tire slicks.
At the front, with five laps remaining, Green’s lead over Ahmed was 0.9 seconds. After that, the best battle in the top 10 was between Porto and Gold, with less than a half-second separating them.
With four laps remaining, Ahmed closed the gap out front to 0.6 seconds, with the Juncos Racing No. 47 closing quickly.
Due to the aero wash, Ahmed appeared to be struggling to get much closer to the leader, but he wasn’t giving up, moving to within a half-second with two laps remaining.
That was as close as Ahmed would get, with Green taking the white flag with 0.7 seconds. Then, further back in the field, Siegel, on 24 laps old Coopers, turned the race’s quickest lap.
Green, who has now won his last two Road To Indy races (one in USF2000 and one in Indy Pro 2000), crossed under the twin-checkered flags 0.6150 seconds.
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of St. Petersburg unofficial Race #1 results
|1||3||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||25 Laps|
|2||47||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||-0.615|
|3||90||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||-1.8226|
|4||4||Braden Eves||Jay Howard Driver Development||-3.8042|
|5||8||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||-5.2548|
|6||1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||-8.509|
|7||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||-10.355|
|8||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||-11.5268|
|9||6||Salvador De Alba||Jay Howard Driver Develpment||-16.508|
|10||92||Matt Round-Garrido||Exclusive Autosport||-24.1315|
|11||18||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||-1 LAP|
|12||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||-1 LAP|
|13||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||-1 LAP|
|14||27||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||-1 LAP|
|15||2||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||-1 LAP|
|16||91||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||DNS|