Rain falling at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Photo Courtesy of Steve Wittich – TSO Ladder)

By Steve Wittich

Just before the 14 Indy Pro 2000 entries were about to head from the false grid to pit road, the skies opened up, and it started to pour.

The “Drivers Start Your Engines” command was delayed as track crews dispersed some standing water in Turn 2, Turn 6, and Turn 9.

Teams were informed by race control that the second Surgere Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio race of the weekend would be reduced from 25 laps to 20 laps (45 minutes to 35 minutes) due to the weather and the schedule constraints.

The command to fire the engines was given at 9:11 am, with all 14 Elite Engine 275hp engines firing.

The field was given two reconnaissance laps before going green.

On the first of two laps, Antoine Comeau, who was due to set 10th, spun in the keyhole. He was able to continue but was told he would need to start at the end of the field.

After the first pace lap, race control announced that the start would be single-file.

As the field came to the front straight, Danial Frost, the fifth car in line, spun. The No. 68 Turn, 3 Motorsport PM-18, didn’t hit anything, but he was forced to take the green flag from the rear oft he field.

The field was given one more lap behind the pace car, getting the green flag on Lap 3, with the clock at 28 minutes.

Pole-sitter Sulaiman wasn’t able to get wowed down headed into Turn 1, going into the gravel trap, getting stuck. Also, missing Turn 1 was DeFrancesco. Going off track before the yellow flag came out as leader Sting Ray Robb got to Turn 2 was the Pabst Racing rookies Colin Kaminsky and Hunter McElrea.

The running order as the field crossed the line to start Lap 3 was: Robb, Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing), Artem Petrov (Juncos Racing), Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), Moisés de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Danial Frost (Turn 3 Motorsports), Bob Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Antoine Comeau (Turn 3 Motorsports), Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!), C. Kaminsky, McElrea, DeFrancesco, Sulaiman, and Enders.

After one lap circulating under yellow, the field was shown the red flag, and they came to pit road. The clock stopped with 16 laps or 21 minutes remaining in the race.

Sulaiman, DeFrancesco, McElrea, and C.Kaminsky were all able to get back on track with the help of the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team, with C. Kaminsky on the lead lap, and McElrea, DeFrancesco, and Sulaiman one lap down.

With the NTT INDYCAR® SERIES qualifying next on deck, the race was abandoned, with teams told that the race would continue at a time still to be determined. Teams were told to take their cars back to the Road To Indy paddock and not be impounded, allowing them to work their PM-18s.

The running order when the race was abandoned was:

1 2 Sting Ray Robb Pabst Racing
2 9 Parker Thompson Juncos Racing
3 42 Artem Petrov Juncos Racing
4 51 Jacob Abel Pabst Racing
5 6 Moises de la Vara Abel Motorsports
6 68 Danial Frost DEForce Racing
7 57 Bob Kaminsky Turn 3 Motorsport
8 3 Antoine Comeau DEForce Racing
9 83 Charles Finelli Pabst Racing
10 19 Colin Kaminsky FatBoy Racing
11 18 Hunter McElrea DEForce Racing
12 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport
13 8 Manuel Sulaiman DEForce Racing
14 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing