By Steve Wittich
Mirroring the USF2000 morning practice, the two quickest drivers in the Indy Pro 2000 practice were separated by six-thousandths of a second.
Championship leader Sting Ray Robb’s lap at 73.102 seconds was a minuscule 0.0067 seconds better than Manuel Sulaiman (DEForce Racing).
Rounding out the top five and within a half-second of Robb were Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing), and Robb’s Juncos Racing teammate Artem Petrov.
Early in the half-hour session, Hunter McElrea (Pabst Racing) and DeFrancesco spent time at the top of the timing screens.
With ten minutes gone in the session, DeFrancesco was the quickest of the seven drivers who had turned laps.
Still on pit road was championship leader Robb, Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), Petrov, Sulaiman, and Parker Thompson (DEForce Racing).
Robb and Petrov hit the 2.25-mile, 12-turn road course with just under 20-minutes remaining in the session.
It didn’t take long for Robb to get up to speed, grabbing the top spot on only his second lap of practice. Robb went quicker yet on his next three laps and held the top spot at the halfway point of practice with a lap timed at 73.102 seconds.
DeFrancesco, McElrea, Kaminsky, and Petrov round out the top five in the first half of practice.
The trio of DEForce Racing drivers finally took to the track just before the session’s halfway point.
In the next five minutes, Kaminsky and Sulaiman take runs at Robb at the top of the timing screen, but they fell short, placing themselves between the points leader and DeFrancesco.
With ten minutes remaining in the session, Robb, who is on pit road for adjustments, is quickest, with Sulaiman, Kaminsky, DeFrancesco, and Petrov rounding out the top five.
At this point in the session, the top five are within a half-second of Robb, and the top nine are within one second.
Sulaiman, who leads the series with three poles, came within six-thousandths of Robb on only his fifth lap of practice.
The track was busy in the final ten minutes of practice, but Frost was the only one of the dozen drivers who improved on his lap time.
The 30-minute session ran completely under green flag conditions, and the dozen drivers completed 160 laps of the Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix at NJMP practice results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||1:13.102||–.—-||8|
|2||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||1:13.109||0.0067||9|
|3||19||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||1:13.411||0.3089||17|
|4||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||1:13.568||0.4652||17|
|5||42||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||1:13.578||0.4759||6|
|6||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||1:13.644||0.5418||17|
|7||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||1:13.674||0.5716||10|
|8||7||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||1:13.764||0.6615||9|
|9||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:13.959||0.8563||16|
|10||68||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:14.275||1.1726||14|
|11||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||1:14.646||1.5441||17|
|12||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||1:16.247||3.1446||20|
Indy Pro 2000 qualifying for Race #1 rolls off at 1:45 pm.