Sunday’s Indy Pro 2000 race marked yet another Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires event dominated from start to finish by Kyle Kirkwood.
The young American driver won his sixth consecutive race and eighth in the last nine to extend his points lead. He led flag-to-flag in the 30-lap race from pole position in his No. 28 RP Motorsport Racing USA Tatuus PM-18.
Juncos Racing teammates Sting Ray Robb and Rasmus Lindh completed the podium in the Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Portland Grand Prix.
The Rob “Velvet Fog” Howden gave an enthusiastic call to start the 13 Indy Pro 2000 car race at 3:07pm.
After one pace lap, the front row of Kirkwood and Robb brought the field to the green flag.
Kirkwood got a great start, with the drivers going four-wide behind him. Unlike yesterday, all 13-drivers were able get cleanly through the Festival Curves.
The running order at the end of the first of 30 laps was: Kirkwood, Robb, Thompson, Lindh, Frost, Petrov, Serravalle, Abel, Lastochkin, de la Vera, Round Garrido, Comeau, and Enders.
On Lap 2, Lindh was able to regain third spot, getting by Parker Thompson in Turn 1.
By Lap 5, Kirkwood’s lead over Robb was 2.2 seconds. Lindh was 1.4 seconds further adrift of his Juncos Racing teammate. The top seven were running in the same positions that they started in.
On Lap 6, Thompson was starting to put pressure back on Lindh, and was being pressured by Exclusive Autosport rookie Frost.
Eighth place Jacob Abel had Lastochkin, Round-Garrido, Enders and de la Vara within three seconds of his No. 51 car.
On Lap 9 Robb turned the quickest lap of the race to that point, but the gap was still 2 seconds.
At the 10 lap mark, the top five were: Kirkwood, Robb, Lindh, Thompson and Frost.
Kirkwood, on Lap 12, was the first driver to turn a sub 68 second lap and his lead had grown to a comfortable 3 seconds. On that same lap, Enders was able to move into the top ten.
Newcomer Petrov got by Frost on Lap 13, making an impressive pass going into Turn 10, moving the RP Motorsport driver to the fifth spot.
At the halfway point of the race, Kirkwood’s lead over Robb has grown to 4.3 seconds.
With ten laps remaining, the gap between Kirkwood, Robb and Lindh was safe. However, Lindh was facing enormous pressure from Abel Motorsports’ Thompson for the final spot on the podium.
Behind them, Petrov was turning quicker and quicker laps and with seven laps remaining was less than a second behind Thompson.
With five laps remaining, Lindh locked up the brakes going in Turn 1, allowing Thompson to get under his gearbox.
Lindh continued to hold Thompson and Petrov at bay as the field head into the final two laps, with Kirkwood and Robb still clear at the head of the field.
Kirkwood took the white flag more than seven seconds clear of Robb. The battle for third stabilized without anyone able to make a move.
The American took the checkered flag at the end of Lap 30 by 7.5856 seconds over Robb. Lindh, Thompson and Petrov rounded out the top five.
Kirkwood now holds a 20-point lead (382-362) over Lindh with just the two races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca remaining on the schedule.
Twenty points also covers the battle for third place with Thompson at 300 points, Frost at 294 and Robb now at 280.
After the race, Lastochkin’s was stopped on course with its right rear tire and suspension bent askew. The other 12 cars returned to the paddock following the checkered flag.
Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Portland Grand Prix – Race #2 Unofficial Results
|1||28||Kyle Kirkwood||RP Motorsport USA||30|
|2||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||30||7.5856|
|3||10||Rasmus Lindh||Juncos Racing||30||13.9365|
|4||8||Parker Thompson||Abel Motorsports||30||14.3556|
|5||5||Artem Petrov||RP Motorsport USA||30||15.3555|
|6||68||Danial Frost||Exclusive Autosport||30||17.0412|
|7||11||Antonio Serravalle||Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA||30||24.8983|
|8||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||30||35.3750|
|9||90||Nikita Lastochkin||Exclusive Autosport||30||35.9538|
|10||7||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||30||36.0720|
|11||6||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||30||49.6021|
|12||27||Matt Round-Garrido||Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing||30||51.3541|
|13||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||30||52.2559|