By Steve Wittich
For the first time in his Road To Indy career, Exclusive Autosport rookie Christian Brooks led a practice session.
The 19-year-old Californian turned a lap at 83.218 seconds, over three-tenths-of-a-second quicker than Legacy Autosport veteran Cameron Shields. Rounding out the top five were Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Nolan Siegel (Jay Howard Driver Development), and Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports).
TSO checked with the team, and that time was set on tires that were carried over from the event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Only the top four drivers were within a half-second of Brooks, with the top 11 within one second.
The 21 drivers completed 939.3 miles (416 laps) of the undulating road course.
The lone 30 minute USF2000 practice session of the weekend got started promptly at 8:30 am, with the 21 entered cars quickly taking to the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course.
The weather at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Mid-Ohio) was decidedly fall-like, with the temperature struggling to reach 60F, a light mist/fog in the air, and a slight breeze blowing from the north.
After most drivers had completed three laps, and with eight minutes of the 30 minutes clicked off the clock, Rasmussen was the quickest of the session with a lap at 87.425 seconds.
At the halfway point of the session, at 8:45 am, the red flag came out so that a moment of silence for the victims of 9/11 could be remembered.
Teams were told that the session would still run for the complete 30 minutes.
Most drivers had completed eight or nine laps at that point in the session, and Rasmussen with a lap timed at 84.007 seconds, topped the timing screen. He was followed by Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports), d’Orlando, Kyle Dupell (Cape Motorsports), Cameron Shields (Legacy Autosport), Christian Brooks (Exclusive Autosport), Siegel, Eduardo Barrichello (Pabst Racing), Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), and Josh Green (Cape Motorsports)
The first driver to go quicker in the second half of the session was Siegel, who is looking to replicate a podium from the series first visit to Mid-Ohio.
The first driver to improve their time in the top five was Brooks. The rookie coming off his first two career USF2000 podiums, first moved to fourth quick, second quick, and then to the top of the timing screen, with the first sub-84-second lap. Brooks was able to keep going quicker, setting the fastest lap of the session on his 19th of 19 laps.
With under three minutes remaining, the timing screen was quickly lighting up green, but nobody was able to catch Brooks.
The bottom rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is back on track for their first of two Friday qualifying sessions at 11:30 am.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand-Prix of Mid-Ohio practice results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFF.||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1:23.218||–.—-||19|
|2||10||Cameron Shields||DEForce Racing||1:23.574||0.3564||20|
|3||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:23.594||0.3763||20|
|4||9||Nolan Siegel||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:23.687||0.4695||21|
|5||3||Reece Gold||Cape Motorsports||1:23.746||0.5289||21|
|6||2||Josh Green||Cape Motorsports||1:23.750||0.5328||20|
|7||6||Christian Rasmussen||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:23.839||0.6213||21|
|8||8||Kyle Dupell||Cape Motorsports||1:23.923||0.7055||21|
|9||23||Matt Round-Garrido||Pabst Racing||1:24.071||0.8531||19|
|10||22||Eduardo Barrichello||Pabst Racing||1:24.157||0.9396||20|
|11||21||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:24.160||0.9422||20|
|12||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:24.422||1.2041||20|
|13||12||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:24.620||1.4023||17|
|14||16||Josh Pierson||Exclusive Autosport||1:24.630||1.4120||20|
|15||20||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||1:24.636||1.4187||19|
|16||7||Christian Bogle||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:24.691||1.4739||20|
|17||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:24.716||1.4985||19|
|18||1||Prescott Campbell||Exclusive Autosport||1:24.762||1.5445||20|
|19||11||Josh Sarchet||DEForce Racing||1:25.151||1.9330||19|
|20||41||Max Kaeser||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:25.432||2.2146||20|
|21||24||Michael Myers||Legacy Autosport||1:26.590||3.3721||20|