For the sixth time during his rookie Pro Mazda season, Rinus VeeKay grabbed the bonus point for winning the pole. It’s the 17-year-old’s fifth pole in the last seven races, and seventh straight front row start.
VeeKay’s lap of 1:05.897 lowered the Pro Mazda track record that the Dutchman set yesterday. David Malukas joins VeeKay on the front row, with Oliver Askew and Parker Thompson starting right behind them. The front two rows were all below yesterday’s fastest qualifying lap.
For comparison, that lap is a tenth-of-a-second quicker than James Hinchcliffe’s Mazda Atlantics pole time from 2007.
The final Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying session of 2018, a 20-minute Pro Mazda affair, followed a crazy Indy Lights qualifying session. https://www.tsoladder.com/2018/09/01/mrti-at-portland-international-raceway-saturday-normans-maiden-pole-oward-incident-cap-off-chaotic-indy-lights-qualifying/
David Malukas was the early leader, but the top five were all within a half-second of each other.
At the half-way point of the 20-minute qualifying session, it was still the BN Racing rookie Malukas that held the provisional pole.
Askew grabbed the provisional pole just after the ten-minute mark and held it for the next four minutes.
Surrounding the halfway point, most drivers came to the attention of their teams on pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.
Thompson was the first driver to get his Coopers up to temperature and went quicker than Askew.
With four minutes remaining VeeKay grabbed the provisional pole and on his next lap went even quicker with a lap under the track record he set during Saturday’s qualifying.
On the next lap, his 12th of the session, VeeKay was the first driver to turn a sub-65-second lap.
Malukas, who was the last driver back on the 1.964-mile, 12-turn Portland International Raceway natural terrain road course after making adjustments, was the last driver to set a quick lap. That lap ended up being only four-hundredths slower than VeeKay.
Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying #2 – unofficial results.
|RANK||CAR NO.||NAME||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|6||82||Sting Ray Robb||1:06.696||0.7984|
|8||12||Moises de la Vara||1:07.646||1.7490|
The first Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Portland Presented by Cooper Tires will roll off this afternoon at 4:50 PM, the final on-track activity on Saturday.