By Steve Wittich
For the first time in his short Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career, DEForce Racing rookie Kiko Porto led a practice session. The just-turned 17-year-old turned in a lap at 85.919 seconds.
Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsport), coming off his first podium at Lucas Oil Raceway, continued to build on his momentum, turning the only other sub-86 second lap on his 20th and final lap of the practice.
The rest of the top seven was made up of Cape Motorsports and Pabst Racing drivers, with the order being Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports), Eduardo Barrichello (Pabst Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), and Josh Green (Cape Motorsports).
Current championship leader, Jay Howard Driver Development sophomore Christian Rasmussen could only manage the eighth quickest time.
The top 11 drivers were within 0.5 seconds of Porto, and 19 of the 21 entries were within one second of the top spot.
If they weren’t already awake at 8 am, the denizens of Speedway, Ind. were treated to a buzzing alarm of 21 Elite Engine prepared 2.0L power plants, signifying the start of USF2000 practice.
Not surprisingly, Rasmussen went to the top of the timing screens on the green track, with Pabst Racing’s Matt Round-Garrido and Barrichello, right there with the Dane.
The quickest lap at the 10-minute mark of the lone 30-minute practice session was held by Gold, with a circuit timed at 86.604 seconds. The rest of the top 10 were Round-Garrido, Rasmussen, Porto, Barrichello, Miller, Rasmussen, Nolan Siegel (Jay Howard Driver Development), Sundaramoorthy, Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), and Kyle Dupell (Cape Motorsports)
At just past the ten-minute portion of the session, the red flag came out for track conditions as the fog rolled in across the north end of the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course.
The Indianapolis, Ind. metro area was under a dense fog advisory, so the fog was not wholly unexpected. It feels like we’re on the Monterey Peninsula. The sun was shining brightly, so the delay wasn’t too long.
Just before the red flag came out, Brazilian Porto went to the top of the timing charts with a lap 86.422 seconds.
The session was extended to run the full 30-minutes, and all other sessions are being pushed back by the appropriate amount of time.
When the green flag came back out at 8:45 am, 18-minutes were remaining on the clock.
With 15-minutes remaining in practice, Round-Garrido was the quickest driver with a lap of 86.323 seconds; he was followed by Porto, Miller, Gold, Barrichello, Rasmussen, Siegel, Shields, Sundaramoorthy, and Brichacek.
With ten minutes remaining in the session, Porto turned the first lap under 86 seconds.
d’Orlando, Sundaramoorthy, Barrichello, Gold, and Miller all took shots to supplant the DEForce Racing rookie at the top of the timing screens, but the lap was good enough to win practice.
The 21 drivers and cars turned a total of 393 laps, with nine drivers turning 20 laps and tying for the most laps completed.
Next up for the lowest rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is qualifying scheduled for 11 am. However, we are about 30 minutes behind schedule, so expect that to be closer to 11:30 am.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Indy Grand Prix practice results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||12||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:25.919||–.—-||18|
|2||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:25.996||0.0770||20|
|3||3||Reece Gold||Cape Motorsports||1:26.141||0.2223||18|
|4||22||Eduardo Barrichello||Pabst Racing||1:26.178||0.2588||20|
|5||21||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:26.181||0.2619||18|
|6||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:26.223||0.3037||19|
|7||2||Josh Green||Cape Motorsports||1:26.242||0.3233||19|
|8||6||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:26.308||0.3887||12|
|9||23||Matt Round-Garrido||Pabst Racing||1:26.323||0.4045||17|
|10||9||Nolan Siegel||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:26.347||0.4283||20|
|11||10||Cameron Shields||DEForce Racing||1:26.416||0.4973||18|
|12||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:26.431||0.5123||20|
|13||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1:26.446||0.5275||18|
|14||8||Kyle Dupell||Cape Motorsports||1:26.570||0.6511||19|
|15||16||Josh Pierson||Exclusive Autosport||1:26.664||0.7453||19|
|16||41||Max Kaeser||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:26.784||0.8650||20|
|17||18||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:26.889||0.9704||20|
|18||1||Prescott Campbell||Exclusive Autosport||1:26.975||1.0561||18|
|19||20||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||1:27.002||1.0828||20|
|20||7||Christian Bogle||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:27.046||1.1273||20|
|21||24||Michael Myers||Legacy Autosport||1:27.316||1.3976||20|
*****FYI – things are currently running about 30 minutes behind schedule.*****
The remainder of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship schedule (all times EDT)
Thursday, September 3, 2020
11am – 11:30am – USF2000 Qualifying #1
2pm – 2:45pm – USF2000 Race #1 (15 laps)
Friday, September 4, 2020
8am – 8:30am – USF2000 Qualifying #2
11am – 11:45am – USF2000 Race #2 (15 laps)
2:45pm – 3:30pm – USF2000 Race #3 (20 laps or 50 minutes)
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