By Steve Wittich
It was a trio of Indy Pro 2000 veterans that found their way to the top of the combined timesheet in “Spring” Training 2.0 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course today.
A two-time race winner during the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires season, Danial Frost was the quickest driver in the first two test sessions in Ohio. The Singaporean Turn 3 Motorsport pilot demonstrated early that he will be a contender of the advancement scholarship, turning in a lap at 76.6264 seconds in the first Indy Pro 2000 session of the test.
“We tested last week, to get the chemistry and understanding with the team a bit better before the official series test today,” said Frost. “Last week was good and I expected the same thing today. The results were there and I think we’re in pretty good shape. We worked on the feel and the rhythm of the car in the first session, and to put in a good lap time because we knew that would be the best time given the track conditions.
“It’s a great team to work with and an easy environment – they seemed fast last year and I expected them to be fast this year, and they proved that today. I’m excited to drive with them this season.”
The only other driver to break the 77-second barrier was veteran Sting Ray Robb, who led the final two sessions in the No. 2 Juncos Racing PM-18.
“The team and I have had two half-day test sessions since St. Pete, but we’ve had some issues,” explained Robb. “We figured them out, the team went back to the shop and fixed the issues, so today was our first trouble free day since St. Pete! We’ve worked on the progression instead of the results: we know that when we work on it that way, the results will come.
“This is a challenging track, especially since we’ve been out of the car for so long, so we know there are some areas we can improve, but finishing P1 in the final session tells us we’re heading in the right direction.”
Only DEForce Racing duo veteran Parker Thompson and rookie Manuel Sulaiman were able to get within one second of Frost’s quick lap.
Newcomer Devlin DeFrancesco, a Canadian that has been racing in Europe, turned in the fifth quickest time in his first visit to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Champion Braden Eves did take part in the test but had transponder issues. Our spies on the ground tell us that the Ohio driver was quick.
Missing from the test were Pabst Racing rookies, Hunter McElrea and Colin Kaminsky, who recently tested at the Lexington, Ohio track, and are fully expected to be entered in the first race event at Road America.
There were other drivers (Artem Petrov, Jacob Loomis, and Sabre Cook) who did not test but that are working hard to make the grid at Road America.
The ten drivers with working transponders turned 699 circuits on the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course. Newcomer DeFrancesco was the busiest of the driver completing 82 laps in his No. 17 Andretti Autosport PM-18.
Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires combined timesheet
|RANIK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||30||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||76.6264||77|
|2||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||76.7320||-0.1056||50|
|3||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||77.1863||-0.5599||74|
|4||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||77.5739||-0.9475||66|
|5||17||Devlin DeFrancessco||Andretti Autosport||77.6829||-1.0565||82|
|6||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||77.8195||-1.1931||75|
|7||6||Moisés de la Vara||DEForce Racing||78.0177||-1.3913||75|
|8||7||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||78.2278||-1.6014||68|
|9||69||Nate Aranda||Juncos Racing||79.0385||-2.4121||59|
|10||83||Charles Finelli||Fatboy Racing!||81.1970||-4.5706||73|
|11||1||Braden Eves||Exclusive Autosport||Inoperable transponder|