By Steve Wittich
In what shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, the driver’s that have raced on the 1.786 mile, 11-Turn Exhibition Place street circuit, were among the quickest in the first, and only USF2000 qualifying session this afternoon.
Canadian Parker Thompson led the way with a quick lap that was timed at 1 minute, 13.820 seconds. The Red Deer, Alberta driver is making his second start in Toronto, finishing third in the first race last year, and first in the second race.
The other three drivers that have made starts in Toronto, all ended in the top-half of time sheet.
Lucas Kohl, who is also making his second start in Toronto, ended up with the third quickest lap. Robert Megennis, who had two top fives at this event last year, led the first half of the session, before ending up sixth.
A winner in Toronto in Indy Lights in 2014, ArmsUp Motorsports’ Alex Baron ended up with ninth quickest lap time.
Championship leaders Oliver Askew (second quickest), and Rinus VeeKay (fourth quickest) were also in the mix at the pointy end of the time sheet. Askew currently leads VeeKay by 32 points in the chase for the Mazda Motorsports Advancement Scholarship.
Mexican driver Jose Sierra is making his series debut with DEForce Racing on the streets of Toronto, and the debutant ended up with the seventh quickest lap.
“I’m very excited and thankful with David (Martinez), Ernesto (Martinez) and the whole DEForce Racing Team for this opportunity,” said Sierra, who will be piloting the No. 10 Mazda powered Tatuus. “I’m glad it could be done and we’ll make the most of it. The only thing left is to work hard this wend and get good results. I will do my best and I hope I can work and help my teammates>”
The 18 year-old started karting when he was only three years old, and won the FIA Mexico National Karting Championship Telmex Challenge as a 15 year-old. The Mexico City, Mexico made the jump to cars in 2015, competing in the French F4 Championship.
Garcia moved back home to race in Mexico for the next two seasons, and has twice finished as vice-champion of the FIA F4 Nacam Championship (Mexican F4). The Esscuderia Telmex backed driver has four wins, two poles, 19 podiums, and nine fastest laps across the two seasons of the FIA backed entry level championship.
You can follow Sierra’s career at the following social media channels: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
The entire session half-hour session was run under green flag conditions, and the field was able to complete 318 laps. Thompson and Kohl turned 23 laps, the most in the 17 car field.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products Practice #1 Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||FAST LAP||GAP||LAPS TURNED|
|13||12||Moises de la Vara||1:15.936||2.1155||17|
The Mazda Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tire has a fairly light schedule for the remainder of the day. USF2000 has their first qualifying session at 12:55pm, and Indy Lights has their first practice session at 1:30pm.
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