By Steve Wittich
For the fourth time in his USF2000 career, Christian Rasmussen visited the top step of the podium, holding off Cape Motorsports rookie Josh Green. The Dane led from pole to checkered, leading all 12 laps in his JHDD, CSU|One Cure / Lucas Oil sponsored No. 6.
Pabst Racing sophomore Eduardo Barrichello gained one spot from his fourth starting spot to collect his first career USF2000 podium. Rounding out the top five were Matthew Round-Garrido (Pabst Racing) and Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports).
The biggest positive mover of the race was Aussie Cameron Shields, who gained ten spots from his 17th place starting position to finish seventh. Rasmussen’s Jay Howard Driver Development, the other Christian (Bogle), finished sixth after starting 14th.
After firing the Elite Engine prepared 2.0L engines, and one pace lap, the 20-car USF2000 made the run up the long straight to get the green flag. The field cleanly made it through the first six corners, but they couldn’t make it through Turn 7. A pair of fifteen-year-olds, Reece Gold and Nolan Siegel, had an incident, coming to a stop in the gravel trap with damage. Gold started the race in fifth and Siegel in ninth, but neither could complete the opening lap.
At the end of the first lap, the running order was Christian Rasmussen, Christian Brooks, Josh Green, Eduardo Barrichello, Matthew Round-Garrido, Prescott Campbell, Yuven Sundaramoorthy, Michael d’Orlando, Kyle Dupell, Christian Bogle, Nico Christodoulou, Jack William Miller, Cameron Shields, Wyatt Brichacek, Josh Pierson, Bijoy Garg, Ayrton Ori, Max Kaeser, Reece Gold, and Nolan Siegel.
Bogle was the most significant early mover, going from his 14th spot starting position to tenth. Sundaramoorthy, from tenth to seventh, and Dupell, form 12th to ninth, each gained three places.
The green flag came back out to start the fourth lap, with the pair of Christians fighting for the lead. That gave Green the chance to pounce, taking second from Brooks, who lost momentum and fell back to seventh.
The leaders were able to complete a lap, passing under the starter to start their fifth lap. Behind them, rookie Christodoulou went wide in Turn 14, bringing out the second yellow flag.
When the race went back to Green to start Lap 8, the running order was Rasmussen, Green, Round-Garrido, Barichello, d’Orlando, Bogle, Brooks, Sundaramoorthy, Campbell, Dupell, Sheilds, Brichacek, Miller, Garg, Ori, Pierson, Kaeser, Christodoulou, Gold, and Siegel.
For the third time of the race, Rasmussen, got a great jump coming up the hill, and took a safe lead through Turn 1. The field got cleanly through Lap 8, and the top ten were Rasmussen, Green, Round-Garrido, Barrichello, d’Orlando, Bogle, Brooks, Sundaramoorthy, Shields, and Campbell.
Green was trailing Rasmussen with three laps remaining by a slim 0.4-second lead, as the Cape Motorsports driver had just turned the quickest lap. On the same lap, Barrichello moved past his Pabst Racing teammate Round-Garrido for the final step on the podium.
The third full course yellow of the race came out on Lap 10. This time it was for Miller, who had an incident in Turn 7, tagging the wall and damaging his No. 40 machine.
Unfortunately, the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team, who had a busy race, was unable to get things cleaned up, and the race ended under yellow.
Rasmussen, who started on pole, led the most laps, and turned the quickest lap of the race, scored ‘max’ points, and will start the second race of the afternoon from the pole.
USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Presented By Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders Race #1 Results (unofficial)
|1||6||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||12 LAPS|
|2||2||Josh Green||Cape Motorsports||0.6417|
|3||22||Eduardo Barrichello||Pabst Racing||1.5325|
|4||23||Matt Round-Garrido||Pabst Racing||2.3721|
|5||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||2.8546|
|6||7||Christian Bogle||Jay Howard Driver Development||3.7826|
|7||20||Cameron Shields||Legacy Autosport||4.7023|
|8||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||5.6036|
|9||21||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||5.9885|
|10||1||Prescott Campbell||Exclusive Autosport||6.4794|
|11||18||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||7.2728|
|12||27||Ayrton Ori||Legacy Autosport||8.5977|
|13||16||Josh Pierson||Exclusive Autosport||8.9976|
|14||8||Kyle Dupell||Cape Motorsports||9.5263|
|15||41||Max Kaeser||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||10.2930|
|16||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||10.9775|
|17||10||Nico Christodoulou||DEForce Racing||– 2 LAPS|
|18||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||– 3 LAPS|
|19||3||Reece Gold||Cape Motorsports||-12 LAPS|
|20||9||Nolan Siegel||Jay Howard Driver Development||-12 LAPS|