By Steve Wittich
An exciting final five minutes of USF2000 qualifying featured five different drivers trading the provisional pole a total of ten times. At the end of the 20 minute session, it was current points leader Oliver Askew that will won the bonus point, and will start on the inside of the front row for Sunday’s Race #2. This will be the sixth time this season that Askew will start on pole in 2017. It will be the ninth time that a Cape Motorsports driver will start on pole in Toronto, Ontario.
The lap of 1 minute, 12.219 seconds turned in by the Cape Motorsports rookie was almost two-tenths of a second quicker than David Malukas, and over three-tenths of a second under the track record set by Anthony Martin last year.
Malukas, who started on pole in Road America, will start outside of Askew. ArmsUp Motorsports pilot, and 2014 Toronto Indy Lights winner, Alex Baron will start inside the second row. Race #1 pole-sitter Parker Thompson will start fourth. Championship contender Rinus VeeKay will start inside the third row beside Team Pelfrey veteran Robert Megennis.
The USF2000 drivers entered in the twin Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products races, took a more familiar spot as dew sweepers on the schedule to begin Saturday. If the residents of the multitude of condominiums surrounding Exhibition Park were still asleep at 8am, the chorus of 17 Mazda 2.0L MZR engines served as an alarm clock.
Even though they were first out on track first, cloudy skies and cool temperatures provided the perfect combination to make speed.
The red flag came out eight minutes into the session to pick up front-wing debris from the No. 2 Cape Motorsports rookie Rick Donison who tagged the wall. The Indian drivers was able to come back to pit road and put on a new front wing.
At that point Thompson’s lap of 1 minute, 14.078 seconds was at the top of the timesheet and was followed in the top 10 by Baron, Askew, Malukas, Megennis, VeeKay, newcomer Jose Sierra, Calvin Ming, Moisés de la Vara, and Devin Wojcik.
The track quickly went back to green, and after a a couple of laps to warm up their Cooper Tires the drivers began to trade the provisional pole.
Race #1 pole-sitter Thompson was the first driver to turn in a flier, but it didn’t take long for the provisional pole to change places with Askew, VeeKay, Thompson, Baron and Malukas all holding the top spot, before Askew turned the quickest lap of the weekend on his final lap.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products Qualifying results #2
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||QUICK LAP TIME||DIFFERENCE|
|14||12||Moises de la Vara||1:14.118||1.8988|
The first USF2000 race of the weekend roles off noon.
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