By Steve Wittich
There is something about the 4.014-mile, 14-turn Road America natural terrain road course that agrees with BN Racing’s David Malukas. The 16-year-old scored his second career Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires pole and second pole at Road America. The Chicago, Ill. native also started on pole in last year’s first USF2000 race.
A scant four-tenths of a second separated newcomer Raul Guzman in eighth and Malukas.
Malukas pole lap bested the old track record of 123.849 seconds by over 3 seconds that was set by Adrian Carrio in 2006.
With only 20 minutes allocated for qualifying and 2-minute laps, each and every lap during qualifying for the first Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Cooper Tires is important.
The first driver to turn a lap at speed was Carlos Cunha, who quickly set the track record, which fell many more times.
At the half-way point of the 20-minute session, the top five were: David Malukas, Toby Sowery, Parker Thompson, Andres Gutierrez, and Oliver Askew.
The teams spent the next five minutes mounting fresh Cooper Tire rubber and getting those tires up to speed.
Malukas held the provisional pole with four minutes left, but championship leader was the first driver to break the 121-second mark with a lap of 120.833 seconds.
Rinus VeeKay, who won two USF2000 races at Road America last year, turned in a lap that was just three-hundredths off Thompson.
Not long after that, Malukas turned in a lap at 120.781 seconds, pipping Thompson by only 0.513 seconds. Thompson had one more flyer in him, and the Canadian was able to go quicker, but not quick enough to knock Malukas off the pole position.
Sowry, Scott, and Cunha all went quicker on their final laps to move into the fourth, fifth and sixth spots.
Provisional Pro Mazda Presented By Cooper Tire Race #1 qualifying results
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