For the first time in his Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career, Eduardo Barrichello will start a USF2000 race from the pole.
The second-generation driver turned a lap of 81.733 seconds in his Ale sponsored No. 22 Pabst Racing machine. That gave him a gap of only four-thousandths-of-a-second over fellow sophomore Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports).
With only two-tenths of a second covering the top six drivers, it was one of the closest USF2000 qualifying sessions that we’ve witnessed.
The first of two qualifying sessions for the USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders got started right on time at 1:30 pm.
There were a few fluffy white clouds in the brilliant blue sky, with an ambient temperature of 83F.
The first driver to complete a lap at speed was Rasmussen, but early in the session, the drivers were busy getting their Cooper Tires up to the optimal operating temperature. Most teams had bolted on a sticker set of Coopers for qualifying after utilizing a set carried over from Road America during the morning practice session.
When most drivers had completed only three laps and with just under 15-minutes remaining in the session, Barrichello, who led the morning practice, was the quickest driver.
With eight minutes remaining in the session, it was Cape Motorsports sophomore Reece Gold with a lap at 82.044 seconds that was the quickest driver, with Rasmussen, Green, Barichello, and Duppel in the top five.
Rasmussen was the first driver to turn a lap below 82 seconds, but every driver on track got quicker and quicker.
With five minutes remaining in the session, the top ten drivers on the timing screen were all within a half-second of Rasmussen, and 16 of the 20 drivers were within one second.
Gold was the second driver to hold the provisional pole in the last five minutes of the session, but he wouldn’t last.
With three minutes remaining, Barichello had moved back to the provisional pole, with the top five drivers all within two-tenths-of-a-second of the top spot.
With just over one minute left in the session, the red flag came out for Bijoy Garg, ending the session and giving Eduardo Barrichello his first career pole.
Unofficial Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship qualifying results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||22||Eduardo Barrichello||Pabst Racing||1:21.733||–.—-|
|2||3||Reece Gold||Cape Motorsports||1:21.738||0.0045|
|3||6||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:21.857||0.1238|
|4||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:21.892||0.1583|
|5||2||Josh Green||Cape Motorsports||1:21.925||0.1917|
|6||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1:21.937||0.2033|
|7||9||Nolan Siegel||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.050||0.3166|
|8||21||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:22.059||0.3254|
|9||1||Prescott Campbell||Exclusive Autosport||1:22.152||0.4185|
|10||8||Kyle Dupell||Cape Motorsports||1:22.229||0.4954|
|11||12||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:22.264||0.5303|
|12||20||Cameron Shields||Legacy Autosport||1:22.318||0.5851|
|13||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:22.336||0.6030|
|14||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.451||0.7175|
|15||23||Matt Round-Garrido||Pabst Racing||1:22.664||0.9303|
|16||18||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.745||1.0113|
|17||7||Christian Bogle||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.790||1.0569|
|18||27||Ayrton Ori||Legacy Autosport||1:23.096||1.3631|
|19||41||Max Kaeser||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:23.196||1.4626|
|20||16||Josh Pierson||Exclusive Autosport||1:23.467||1.7341|
The first of three USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Presented by Cooper Tires Honoring First Responders get the green flag at 4:30 pm.