By Diane Swintal

The day was going along as expected – until it wasn’t.

The NTT INDYCAR SERIES practice was significantly delayed when a very large video screen along the front straight lost all its hydraulic fluid and tiled very precariously mere feet from the racing surface.

Track services secured the screen and INDYCAR practice resumed nearly 90 minutes later – but obviously, the Road to Indy races were quite delayed.

Instead of 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., the command to start engines was given at 5:25 p.m. First up is Indy Pro 2000 then USF2000 – the races were flipped, since there is no time for a podium after the first race. The races were originally scheduled to be 45 minutes for USF2000 and 50 minutes for Indy Pro 2000 – instead, both will be 30 minutes long. The first ARCA practice will be after the pair of races, making for a very long day for the corner marshals.

To save time, both series loaded into pit lane together.

The sun is quite low in the sky, which will make the entry to turn one even more difficult. In the video screen delay, Portland organizers moved the barriers in the chicane inside the Festival Curves, to make it a bit easier for cars who were not able to make turn one. It remains to be seen whether than will help Road to Indy drivers.

Low sun also means heat – 86F, but it feels much hotter.

Reece Gold on pole, with Louis Foster alongside, Kiko Porto and Nolan Siegel in row two.

Happily, all 15 cars made it through the Festival Curves – a nice feat, given the fact that the field immediately went into three sets of three-wide racing going into turn one.

On lap three, Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Josh Green came together in turn 11, which has been a very popular spot for incidents this weekend. Both continued, at the back of the field.

Marcos Flack also had an off-and-on, in turn 10, but subsequently retired.

On lap four, Kiko Porto set up Foster nicely in turn three, making the pass for second position.

Foster returned the favor on lap eight, with the over/under in turn three to make the pass on Porto to retake second.

A nice battle started brewing between Bijoy Garg and Lindsay Brewer, for 10th position, with Garg adhered to Brewer’s rear wing (apologies, we couldn’t help the “brewing” comment…)

Another good battle – Enaam Ahmed and Jack William Miller for fourth position.

At the halfway point, Gold had broken out to a six-second leader over Foster, with Porto two seconds back in third. Miller remained on the rear wing of Ahmed.

Garg was able to make the pass for 10th, bringing Sundaramoorthy with him into 11th. The pair reeled in Braden Eves and Jordan Missig, with Salvador de Alba and Nolan Siegel battling just ahead. With two laps remaining, Missig pulled off the pass of Siegel for seventh.

At the checkered flag, Gold had his third win and fifth podium of the year. Foster in second took his eighth podium in 17 races. Porto brought it home in third – his second podium of the season.

A very nice 18th birthday gift for Reece Gold!

Reece Gold on track at Portland. Road to Indy Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy


Portland Indy Pro 2000 Race #2 Results:

Pos Car # Driver Laps Diff ST Team
1 55 Reece Gold 22 LAP 22 1
Juncos Hollinger Racing
2 90 Louis Foster 22 3.5502 2
Exclusive Autosport
3 1 Kiko Porto 22 10.2385 3
DEForce Racing
4 47 Enaam Ahmed 22 11.037 5
Juncos Hollinger Racing
5 40 Jack William Miller 22 12.8453 6
Miller Vinatieri Motorsports w/Exclusive Autosport
6 6 Salvador De Alba 22 20.775 7
Jay Howard Driver Develpment
7 19 Jordan Missig 22 21.3239 13
Pabst Racing
8 8 Nolan Siegel 22 21.8212 4
DEForce Racing
9 4 Braden Eves 22 22.404 11
Jay Howard Driver Development
10 7 Bijoy Garg 22 22.9929 9
DEForce Racing
11 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy 22 29.1919 10
Pabst Racing
12 93 Lindsay Brewer 22 42.0007 14
Exclusive Autosport
13 3 Josh Green 22 42.2405 8
Turn 3 Motorsport
14 2 Jonathan Browne 20 2 LAPS 12
Turn 3 Motorsport
15 5 Marcos Flack 3 Contact 15
Jay Howard Driver Development