By Steve Wittich
Speed producing overcast skies and refreshing temperatures greeted the 26 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda drivers for first qualifying session of the Road America weekend.
With only 20 minutes available for qualifying, and 2+ minute laps, it was essential to maximize every lap.
Pabst Racing Rookie Rasmus Lindh threw down a last-minute flyer of 139.258 to grab his first career Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires pole. The 16 year-olds previous best start was in his last race at Lucas Oil Raceway Park.
The Sweedish drivers lap also topped the track record of 2:09.656 set by Scott Anderson in 2012.
Lindh snagged the Wisconsin based teams third Road America pole, joining Rinus VeeKay and his engineer, Tonis Kasemits as pole winners for the Augie Pabst, led squad.
Championship leader Kyle Kirkwood will start outside of the front row for the fifth time in six USF2000 starts.
Lindh’s three Pabst Racing teammates will all start in the first three rows along with Exclusive Autosport rookie Igor Fraga.
With just over 11 minutes left in the 20 minutes session, rookie Rasmus Lindh went to the provisional pole and was followed by Kory Enders, Lucas Kohl, Calvin Ming, Keith Donegan, Kyle Dupell, Kyle Kirkwood, Igor Fraga, Julian Van der Watt and Kaylen Frederick in the top ten.
Lindh was the first driver to break the 130-second mark in the qualifying session. The Swedes time on the provisional pole was short lived when championship leader Kirkwood turned his quickest lap of the session.
The Pabst Racing trio of Frederick, Lindh, and Kohl all made runs at the Cape Motorsports rookie, and the American’s held the provisional pole until the very end of the session when Lindh was able to leapfrog Kirkwood.
Kirkwood still had a chance to disappoint Lindh. He was able to go faster on his final lap, but fell two-hundredths shy of snagging his fourth straight pole.
Provisional Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race #1 qualifying results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|8||80||Julian Van der Watt||2:09.995||0.7161|
The third and final Friday USF2000 session is qualifying for race #2 begins at 5:35 PM.