By Steve Wittich
USF2000 practice at 8 AM kicks off a busy day of Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires (MRTI) action at Road America.
Today will feature two practice sessions, four qualifying sessions, a Pro Mazda Presented By Cooper Tire race and a pair of autograph sessions. If you are a fan of the ladder series (like we are), today is a perfect day for you.
I (Steve) will be handling the majority of the MRTI coverage this weekend, with help from Tony DiZinno.
Pabst Racing began the Road America race weekend right where they left off in 2017. Rasmus Lindh had the quickest lap of the half-hour session and was joined in the top 10 by his teammates Kohl, Frederick, and Ming.
Championship leader Kirkwood and his closest competitor ended up with the second and third quickest times.
The 26 Mazda powered Tatuus machines were headed to the false grid just as Tony and I were walking back from The Gearbox concession stand where I devoured a Wieser egger (egg, bacon, sausage, ham and cheese on a kaiser roll).
If they were still asleep at 8 AM, the plethora of campers were the recipients of alarm clock consisting of 26 buzzing Mazda 2.0L engines.
At the halfway mark of the lone half-hour session, the top ten were: Lucas Kohl, Kyle Kirkwood, Kory Enders, Calvin Ming, Kyle Dupell, Alex Baron, Colin Kaminsky, Jose Sierra, Julian Van der Watt, and Keith Donegan.
With eight minutes remaining in the session, Lindh turned the first sub-130-second lap of the weekend, and after the 30-minute session, five drivers had gone under that mark.
The lap of 129.509 by the Swedish 16-year-old was under the track record of 129.656 seconds.
The final five minutes of the session saw the most driver turn their quickest laps, but nobody could surpass the Pabst Racing rookies fast lap.
The drivers turned a total of 286 laps.
Sabre Cook does not turn up on timing and scoring, but the BENIK racer was on track with a faulty transponder.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda practice #1 results
|RANK||CAR NO||DRIVER||QUICK LAP||GAP||TOTAL LAPS|
|7||80||Julian Van der Watt||2:10.139||0.6303||13|
|26||31||Sabre Cook||No Time||—||—|
There has been some movement between teams and a new addition to the grid overnight.
After starting the season with ArmsUp Motorsports, Keith Donegan, the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200K Scholarship Shootout winner, has moved to BN Racing to partner with Russell McDonough.
The Borland’s drafted in a familiar face to USF2000 fans to fill in. Dakota Dickerson who made 22 USF2000 starts across the 2016 and 2017 seasons will be in the local team’s second car this weekend.
If you are at Road America make sure you head to the Verizon IndyCar Series fan village for the USF2000 autograph session at 11:10 AM. The next track activity for the lowest rung of the Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder is their first qualifying session at 12:45 PM.