By Steve Wittich
Danial Frost, who was set to contest the 2020 Indy Lights season before it was suspended, emphatically proved to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires field, that he would be the driver to beat.
The pilot of the DEN-JET sponsored No. 68 PM-18, entered by Turn 3 Motorsport, was over a half-second clear of the Indy Pro 2000 field in the first test session of the Road America weekend. Following him were a trio of newcomers to the series, Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing), Manuel Sulaiman (DEForce Racing), and Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing).
Only three-tenths of a second separated the drivers occupying spots two through eight on the timing screen.
The middle rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires began their first of three 45-minute test sessions promptly at 9 am (CDT).
Early in the going, it was veterans Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing), Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing), and Danial Frost (Turn 3 Motorsport) who were at the head of the timing screen.
With just over 25-minutes left in the session, the red flag came out for a spin by Sabre Cook. The Xtract Technologies/Apple Motorsports sponsored No. 36 was able to continue returning to the crew’s attention on pit road.
At that time Thompson, with a lap of 122.739 seconds was the quickest drivers and was followed in the top ten by Robb, Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), Frost, Artem Petrov (Juncos Racing), Antoine Comeau (Turn 3 Motorsports), Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing), Jacob Loomis (BN Racing with Team Benik), Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!) and Bob Kaminsky (Pabst Racing).
The track reopened for testing with just over 20-minutes remaining, and it didn’t take long for the lap times to start falling, as Frost, Robb, Comeau, and McElrea all turned laps quicker than Thompson’s best time before the stoppage.
With seven minutes remaining in the session, Thompson turned the first sub-122-second lap, grabbing the top spot. With five minutes left in the session, his DEForce Racing teammate, Sulaiman, and Andretti Steinbrenner Racing newcomer DeFrancesco were the only drivers with laps in the 121-second bracket.
Thompson’s time at the top of the timing screens didn’t last long, as first Kaminsky, then Sulaiman, and then Frost all lowered the quickest time of the session.
Frost continued to get faster, eventually turning the only sub-121-second lap of the session with just over one minute remaining.
The 15 entries that turned a lap completed 192 circuits of the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course. Finelli, who turned 15 laps, was the busiest driver.
The Indy Pro 2000 drivers and teams will be back on track for their second test session at 11:45 am (CDT)
Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders Test #1 Results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||68||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||2:00.940||–.—-||14|
|2||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||2:01.495||0.5555||14|
|3||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||2:01.547||0.6069||9|
|4||19||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||2:01.672||0.7320||15|
|5||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||2:01.687||0.7470||14|
|6||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||2:01.733||0.7936||13|
|7||1||Braden Eves||Exclusive Autosport||2:01.766||0.8266||14|
|8||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||2:01.808||0.8680||14|
|9||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||2:02.220||1.2801||15|
|10||42||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||2:02.527||1.5868||15|
|11||36||Jacob Loomis||BN Racing with Team Benik||2:04.032||3.0924||13|
|12||37||Sabre Cook||BN Racing with Team Benik||2:05.151||4.2113||11|
|13||57||Bob Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||2:06.446||5.5065||12|
|14||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||2:06.502||5.5625||18|
|15||6||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||8:36.555||6:35.6150||1|
|16||69||Nate Aranda||Juncos Racing||No Time||—||—|