By Steve Wittich
The command to fire the 14 Elite Engine 275hp 2.0L engines was given by race control at 12:10 pm, only 15-minutes after the completion of NTT INDYCAR® SERIES practice.
The front row of Frost and Thompson brought the field to the green flag on the front straight of the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course.
It was Frost that got the jump, getting through Turn 1 first. Further back in the field, Bob Kaminsky spun in Turn 1, but he could get going on his own.
Thompson got a better run going up the hill to The Keyhole and was able to get past Frost in Turn 2.
The running order after the first lap was: Thompson, Frost, Manuel Sulaiman (DEForce Racing), Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing), Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing), Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing), Artem Petrov (Juncos Racing), Moisés de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Antoine Comeau (Turn 3 Motorsport), Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), (Kor, Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!) and Bob Kaminsky (Pabst Racing)
On lap 2, Petrov took a look at the outside of DeFrancesco in the Keyhole but was unable to get the pass completed.
DeFrancesco was given a penalty for blocking and told to give up the position.
He was still fighting Petrov for the position, with C. Kaminsky and de la Vara also involved, when there was an incident and the Kimoa sponsored No. 57 came to a stop in Turn 10, bringing out the yellow flag.
The running order under yellow was: Thompson, Frost, Sulaiman, McElrea, Robb, Petrov, Kaminsky, de la Vara, Abel, Comeau, Enders, Finelli, B. Kaminsky, and DeFrancesco.
The green flag came back out to start lap 8. Thompson got a significant jump on the field and making it through the first three corners with the lead. Frost got a good run off Turn 3 and was able to put some pressure on Thompson through Turn 4 and Madness.
Further back in the field, points leader Robb put pressure on McElrea, getting by the Pabst Racing rookie on Lap 9.
Thompson’s lead to start Lap 10 was less than half-a-second, with the top four covered by only 1.5 seconds.
On that same lap, Sulaiman was able to go around the outside of Frost in Turn 4, grabbing the second spot.
As Thompson went by us on the front straight to start the next lap, he pulled to the inside of the track with a sour sounding motor. As he went slowly through Turn 1, the power plant emitted a large puff of white smoke.
The running order under yellow was: Sulaiman, Frost, Robb, Petrov, C. Kaminsky, Abel, de la Vara, Comeau, Enders, B. Kaminsky, and Finelli.
The green flag came back out with ten laps remaining. Sulaiman got a great jump over Frost, getting through the first three corners with the lead. Frost was able to get a decent run on the downhill run to Turn 4, but he locked up in the braking zone, allowing the DEForce Racing driver to grab a decent lead. Frost was immediately under pressure from Robb.
Sulaiman’s lead to start lap 17 was 0.8 seconds, with things settling in for the next few laps.
On Lap 18, Finelli pulled off the track in a safe space in Turn 3 with damage to the rear of the Sugere sponsored No. 83 Fatboy Racing! PM-18.
With five laps remaining, McElrea made a daring pass of Robb in Turn 1, moving to the final spot on the podium.
With three laps remaining, Sulaiman’s lead over Frost was one second. McElrea was three seconds adrift of Frost, who turned his fastest lap of the race on his next lap.
Sulaiman took the white flag with a 0.6 second lead over Frost.
Surgere Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Race #1 unofficial results
|1||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||25 laps|
|2||68||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||-0.4058|
|3||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||-3.099|
|4||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||-5.1469|
|5||42||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||-6.1372|
|6||19||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||-7.3255|
|7||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||-8.0038|
|8||7||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||-16.778|
|9||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||-17.1375|
|10||6||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||-17.4699|
|11||57||Bob Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||-40.1861|
|12||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||– 8 LAPS|
|13||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||– 14 LAPS|
|14||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||-21 LAPS|