By Steve Wittich
For the second straight Indy Pro 2000 race, the Juncos Racing duo of Sting Ray Robb and Artem Petrov will start on the front row, but today, Race #1 winner Robb was quicker.
Petrov grabbed the pole position for Race #1 by six-hundredths of a second, and in this morning’s qualifying, it was Robb returning the favor. The Idahoan’s lap timed at 79.281 seconds was only seven-hundredths faster than his teammate.
Robb will start from the inside of the front row for the third time in his career. His pole is the tenth on the IMS Road Course for the Speedway, Ind. Juncos Racing.
Turn 3 Motorsport and Indy Pro 2000 sophomore Frost improved one spot from Thursday’s qualifying effort and will start behind the pole sitter.
Championship leader Devlin DeFrancesco improved four spots over Thursday’s qualifying effort in his first visit to the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Canadian born driver was six-tenths off the pole for race #1 but cut that down to three-tenths for race #2.
Thursday podium visitors, Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing) and Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing) will have some work to do to repeat that feat. They start beside each other in the third row.
The 15 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires drivers had an absolutely perfect Hoosier September morning to qualify for the second Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Indy Grand Prix. The skies were brilliant blue with wispy clouds, the sun was shining, the humidity was non-existent, and the temperature was a comfortable 62F.
Robb was the early leader during the 20-minutes of guaranteed qualifying time, but with five minutes gone, McElrea moved to the provisional pole.
With 12-minutes remaining, McElrea’s Pabst Racing teammate Kaminsky grabbed the provisional pole with the first sub 79 seconds lap of the event.
Just before the halfway point of qualifying, several cars, including yesterday’s pole-sitter Petrov, yesterday’s race winner Robb, and points leader DeFrancesco were all on pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire Rubber.
Kaminsky was the quickest driver after ten minutes, he was followed in the top 10 by McElrea, Sulaiman, Robb, Danial Frost (Turn 3 Motorsport), Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing), DeFrancesco, Jacob Loomis (BN Racing with Team Benik), Petrov, and Kory Enders (DEForce Racing).
The drivers took a few laps to get their Coopers into the optimal operating temperature range, but with five minutes remaining in the session, times started to come down.
The first driver to go quicker on new tires was Robb. McElrea grabbed the provisional pole with four minutes remaining, but that only lasted for a few minutes as Robb went back to the provisional pole with a lap that started to flirt with Rasmus Lindh’s qualifying track record of 1:18.9953 set in May of 2019.
At the last minute, Frost put in his quickest lap of qualifying, throwing down the session’s third fastest lap.
Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Indy Grand Prix race #2 qualifying results (unofficial)
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||1:19.281||–.—-|
|2||42||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||1:19.359||0.0785|
|3||68||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:19.544||0.2630|
|4||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||1:19.651||0.3699|
|5||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||1:19.653||0.3724|
|6||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||1:19.766||0.4850|
|7||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||1:19.768||0.4873|
|8||19||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||1:19.874||0.5927|
|9||36||Jacob Loomis||BN Racing||1:20.187||0.9058|
|10||7||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||1:20.223||0.9421|
|11||6||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||1:20.456||1.1753|
|12||69||Nate Aranda||Juncos Racing||1:21.028||1.7474|
|13||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:21.044||1.7630|
|14||57||Bob Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||1:22.260||2.9792|
Friday, September 4, 2020
9:45am – 10:15am – Indy Pro 2000 Qualifying #2
1pm – 1:50pm – Indy Pro 2000 Race #2 (20 laps)
4pm – 4:50pm – Indy Pro 2000 Race #3 (25 laps or 50 minutes)