By Steve Wittich
If the first official test session of the USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders portends anything, it will be that the fight for the USF2000 advancement scholarship should be a good one.
With four teams in the top five, and a bakers-dozen drivers within one second of the top of the timesheet, the championship should be wide open.
Leading the way from the four-car Cape Motorsports stable, with a lap timed at 131.099 seconds, was sophomore Reece Gold in his The Ticket Clinic Sponsored No. 3 USF-17.
Gold was followed closely by Cape Motorsports teammate Michael d’Orlando, along with Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), and Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development) in the top five.
The first of three 45-minute test sessions for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship got underway at Road America at 8 am (CDT), with the lowest rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires serving as the due sweepers for the day.
At the half-way point of the 45-minute session, Rasmussen had turned the quickest lap, timed at 131.710 seconds. The rest of the top 10 were: Eduardo Barrichello (Pabst Racing), Gold, d’Orlando, Josh Green (Cape Motorsports), Matthew Round-Garrido (Pabst Racing), Nolan Siegel (Jay Howard Driver Development), Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), Miller and Prescott Campbell (Exclusive Autosport).
With 20 minutes remaining, the first and only red flag of the session came out. From timing and scoring, it appeared that the issue was with Nico Christodoulou. The newcomer had just turned his quickest lap of the session.
The red flag lasted seven minutes before the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course was once again buzzing with the sound of the Elite Engine 2.0L power plants.
It took a couple of laps for the Cooper Tires to come back up to optimal operating temperature, but with eight minutes remaining, the lap times started to fall. Barrichello was the first driver to go quicker but was quickly eclipsed by Gold.
Over the final five minutes of the session, Sundaramoorthy and Gold both held the top spot.
The 20 entries turned a total of 244 laps. The busiest drivers were a pair of Christians, Rasmussen, and Bogle, from Jay Howard Driver Development, who completed 16 circuits.
The drivers and teams of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship series will be back on track at 10:45 am (CDT)
USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders Test Session #1 Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||3||Reece Gold||Cape Motorsports||2:11.099||–.—-||15|
|2||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||2:11.178||0.0796||15|
|3||21||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||2:11.287||0.1880||14|
|4||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||2:11.322||0.2227||11|
|5||6||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:11.461||0.3622||16|
|6||2||Josh Green||Cape Motorsports||2:11.574||0.4748||15|
|7||22||Eduardo Barrichello||Pabst Racing||2:11.628||0.5296||14|
|8||1||Prescott Campbell||Exclusive Autosport||2:11.642||0.5435||13|
|9||9||Nolan Siegel||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:11.991||0.8919||14|
|10||8||Kyle Dupell||Cape Motorsports||2:12.001||0.9022||14|
|11||23||Matt Round-Garrido||Pabst Racing||2:12.052||0.9527||15|
|12||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:12.123||1.0243||14|
|13||20||Cameron Shields||Legacy Autosport||2:12.150||1.0509||11|
|14||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||2:12.314||1.2157||8|
|15||7||Christian Bogle||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:13.101||2.0025||16|
|16||27||Ayrton Ori||Legacy Autosport||2:13.122||2.0227||15|
|17||10||Nico Christodoulou||DEForce Racing||2:13.836||2.7367||10|
|18||41||Max Kaeser||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||2:14.951||3.8518||14|
|19||16||Josh Pierson||Exclusive Autosport||15:49.174||0.0000||—|
|20||18||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||No Time||—||—|