By Steve Wittich
Christian Rasmussen, one of the USF2000 championship contenders, led the lone official practice session of the weekend. However, the track was wet, so times are not representative of what we expect in tomorrow’s qualifying session and races.
“The team has done a great job all day, getting the car where it needs to be,” said Rasmussen. “I’m glad I could put a good lap together for them in the final test, and again in the official practice. It shows that we’re competitive, though I know some guys did not put on new tires in that last test session. But I know we’re fast, P1 by two-and-a-half seconds in that last session in the wet conditions, so I can’t complain. We’ll see how tomorrow develops, if it’s going to be wet or dry – no one knows now, but I think we’ll be competitive either way. It’s been a good day, and it’s great to be back with the team and back at the racetrack.”
After an almost 30-minute delay due to lightning in the area, the first official practice session of the USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders race weekend got underway at about 4:45 pm (CDT)
Eighteen of the 20 entered drivers took to the wet 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course, to get in some wet weather practice. Those drivers had Cooper Tire rain tires mounted. Cameron Shields and Ayrton Ori, the two Legacy Autosport drivers, decided to sit out the session.
.@TeamCooperTire rain tires are going on.
We’re currently on hold for Practice under a 30 minute rain delay!#RoadToIndy || #TeamCooperTire #LucasJay || #LucasOil || #ItWorks pic.twitter.com/zRgCFLJwUS
— Jay Howard Driver Development (@FollowJHDD) July 9, 2020
The red flag came out only a few minutes into the session. Max Kaeser, in the Miller Vinatieri Motorsports No. 41, spun and could not get going again.
At that point in the session, only 11 drivers had been on track and had completed a single out-lap.
The green flag came back out with 18-minutes remaining in the session, and drivers started to tip-toe around the track.
With 10-minutes remaining in the session, Rasmussen’s quickest time on the timing screens was a lap at 148.532 seconds. He lowered that time by more than a second on his next lap. He was followed by the Cape Motorsports duo of Gold and Green.
As the track started to dry, lap times kept coming down, with Rasmussen dropping down to a 146.109 second lap when the red flag came out for the second time.
This time, it was for the Pelican Energy sponsored No. 7, driven by Christian Bogle, who was stranded in the gravel in Turn 7.
The session got the checkered flag a little early so that the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team could rescue the stranded Jay Howard Driver Development driver.
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship drivers are back on track at 8 am (CDT) tomorrow for qualifying.
USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders Practice #1 Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||6||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:26.109||–.—-||6|
|2||3||Reece Gold||Cape Motorsports||2:28.592||2.4825||6|
|3||2||Josh Green||Cape Motorsports||2:29.405||3.2959||7|
|4||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:29.469||3.3601||6|
|5||23||Matt Round-Garrido||Pabst Racing||2:29.692||3.5827||7|
|6||8||Kyle Dupell||Cape Motorsports||2:29.692||3.5831||7|
|7||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||2:30.302||4.1931||6|
|8||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||2:30.615||4.5055||6|
|9||21||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||2:30.997||4.8876||5|
|10||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||2:31.029||4.9200||4|
|11||22||Eduardo Barrichello||Pabst Racing||2:31.634||5.5243||5|
|12||10||Nico Christodoulou||DEForce Racing||2:32.701||6.5921||5|
|13||16||Josh Pierson||Exclusive Autosport||2:33.832||7.7229||5|
|14||1||Prescott Campbell||Exclusive Autosport||2:34.877||8.7679||4|
|15||7||Christian Bogle||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:35.352||9.2429||6|
|16||18||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:35.657||9.5475||6|
|17||9||Nolan Siegel||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:37.220||11.1106||5|
|18||41||Max Kaeser||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||2:46.799||20.6895||4|
|19||20||Cameron Shields||Legacy Autosport||No Time||—||—|
|20||27||Ayrton Ori||Legacy Autosport||No Time||—||—|