That is just how dominant was Sting Ray Robb’s pole run for Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix at NJMP Race #2 was.
The Juncos Racing sophomore’s gap to the second quickest of 0.3135 seconds is huge.
The most significant time gap between the pole winner and the outside front row starter in the past seven Indy Pro 2000 road courses was 0.0785 seconds, and the combined gap between the pole and second place starting in those seven races was 0.2827 seconds.
The pole is the 19-year-olds third pole of the 2020 season, tying him with Manuel Sulaiman (DEForce Racing) and Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing) for the season lead.
The bonus point for winning the pole increased Robb’s championship lead to 42 points.
Starting outside of Robb on row one will be DEForce Racing veteran Parker Thompson; the second-place start matches his best qualifying effort of the year.
Thompson’s DEForce Racing teammate, Sulaiman, will start from the fourth spot, and championship contender Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Racing) will start in fifth.
Thompson, Petrov, Sulaiman, and DeFrancesco were separated by only 0.1765 seconds.
Starting directly behind Robb is his Juncos Racing teammate Artem Petrov, who begins in the first two rows of an Indy Pro 2000 race for the seventh time in 2020.
The green flag to bin the second Indy Pro 2000 qualifying session of the weekend was shown from the starters stand at 10:45 am.
After most of the drivers had completed their first two laps, Sulaiman held the provisional pole with a lap timed at 73.396 seconds.
After four laps, Sulaiman had improved on his lap time, lowering the provisional pole to 73.036 seconds.
After less than nine minutes of the session was completed, most drivers were in the pit lane for adjustments.
Sulaiman still held the provisional pole at the halfway point of the session. His quick lap was 0.1520 seconds faster than his teammate Thompson. Petrov and Robb were within a half-second in third and fourth. Race #1 winner DeFrancesco had the fifth quickest lap.
The first two drivers to improve in the second half of the session were teammates Colin Kaminsky and Hunter McElrea, who moved into the top five.
On his next lap, McElrea moved to third, two-tenths of a second behind Sulaiman.
McElrea and Kaminsky set their quickest times on their fourth laps on a fresh set of Cooper Tire slicks.
Robb was the next driver to get his tires up to the optimal operating temperature, moving to second on the timing screen.
Just after Robb crossed the line to improve his time, Sulaiman was the first driver to go under 73 seconds.
Thompson was the next driver to grab the provisional pole, but that didn’t last long.
Points leader, Robb, grabbed the provisional pole with just under three minutes remaining in the session.
Robb went even quicker on the next lap, turning the weekend’s fastest lap, a lap timed at 72.396 seconds.
On his last lap, Robb’s teammate Petrov was able to turn his quickest lap of the session, moving Robb’s main championship rival, DeFrancesco, back another spot.
Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix at NJMP Race #2 unofficial qualifying results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||2||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||1:12.396||–.—-|
|2||9||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing||1:12.710||0.3135|
|3||42||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||1:12.734||0.3376|
|4||8||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||1:12.774||0.3777|
|5||17||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport||1:12.886||0.4900|
|6||18||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||1:13.238||0.8421|
|7||19||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||1:13.262||0.8653|
|8||68||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:13.349||0.9532|
|9||7||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||1:13.636||1.2396|
|10||51||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||1:13.717||1.3212|
|11||3||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:14.175||1.7788|
Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix at NJMP Race #2 is scheduled to get the green flag at 2 pm.