Kiko Porto on track at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The DEForce Racing rookie led the first practice session in preparation for a triple-header on the IMS Road Course. (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

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 sun tries to break through the fog covered portions of the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (crappy photo courtesy of Steve Wittich – TSO)

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

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)


Don’t miss any of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires action: