Christian Brooks, an Exclusive Autosport veteran was the quickest on the first day of USF2000 spring training at Barber Motorsports Park. (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

By Steve Wittich

What the quickest driver of the day had to say:

“I think it’s not only important to set the tone for the season against all the other drivers as much as it is for myself,” said Brooks to TSO Ladder after the second test session. “I’m learning more about the car and figuring out what works and what doesn’t coming into Barber Motorsports Park is what is most important for the team and me. As long as we keep up the good work, we should have a successful weekend at Barber. It looks like my teammates have done well (rookies Grant Palmer and Billy Frazer were within eight-tenths of their veteran teammate). We’ll keep up the good work and see how we do.”

  • Fourteen drivers were beneath the seven-year-old track record time of 83.009 seconds set by Michael Epps in 2014.
  • Yes, Brooks led both sessions, but 19 of the 23 drivers testing were within one second of his quickest lap time. That’s a close field. The last time the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship visited Barber Motorsports Park in 2017, the 19th quickest driver in the second qualifying session was 1.6645 seconds behind the fastest driver.
  • Not surprisingly, seven of the top ten drivers on the combined timesheet from the first day of USF2000 spring training were the veterans.
  • The top rookie was Pabst Racing’s Jace Denmark, who was only 0.3503 seconds behind Brooks and only two-tenths-of-a-second behind his veteran teammate Yuven Sundaramoorthy. Denmark was joined by fellow rookies Dylan Christie (Turn 3 Motorsport) and Palmer in the top ten.
  • Four teams dominated the top ten on the combined timesheet. Pabst Racing (3), Exclusive Autosport (2), Turn 3 Motorsport (2), and DEForce Racing (2) all had multiple drivers in the top 10.
  • Jay Howard Driver Development and Cape Motorsports, whose drivers have won the last ten driver’s champions, were shockingly missing from the top ten.
  • The 23 USF2000 drivers combined to turn 1,073 laps of the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course. That equates to 2,467.9 miles.
  • Pabst Racing’s Sundaramoorthy was the busiest driver, turning 63 laps on only two sets of Cooper Tire slicks. The veteran driver should now have an excellent feel for how his S team Motorsports sponsored Pabst Racing No. 23 will handle late in a race.

A quick caveat. TSO Ladder considers but doesn’t rely on testing times to predict season-long success. Different drivers and teams will be utilizing this track time to work on various checklists. Some may be running low fuel and performing qualification simulations, while some might be on full fuel loads and worn tires to help their engineers and drivers know what a car needs to be quick late in a race.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship spring training at Barber Motorsports Park Day #1 combined timesheet

1 44 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport 82.2309 39
2 22 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 82.3757 -0.1448 63
3 33 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 82.3954 -0.1645 31
4 10 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 82.4365 -0.2056 19
5 24 Josh Pierson Pabst Racing 82.4977 -0.2668 32
6 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 82.5812 -0.3503 60
7 11 Prescott Campbell DEForce Racing 82.6418 -0.4109 44
8 34 Dylan Christie Turn 3 Motorsport 82.6455 -0.4146 37
9 90 Grant Palmer Exclusive Autosport 82.7574 -0.5265 51
10 12 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 82.7658 -0.5349 42
11 6 Bijoy Garg Jay Howard Driver Development 82.7977 -0.5668 40
12 99 Myles Rowe Force Indy 82.8256 -0.5947 30
13 29 Erik Evans Velocity Racing Development 82.9625 -0.7316 47
14 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 82.9718 -0.7409 50
15 8 Jackson Lee Jay Howard Driver Development 83.0607 -0.8298 55
16 91 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport 83.0808 -0.8499 50
17 5 Spike Kohlbecker Cape Motorsports 83.1233 -0.8924 36
18 9 Peter Vodanovich Jay Howard Driver Development 83.2062 -0.9753 59
19 2 Thomas Nepveu Cape Motorsports 83.2434 -1.0125 55
20 1 Ely Navarro DEForce Racing 83.3680 -1.1371 48
21 3 Evan Stamer Cape Motorsports 83.5654 -1.3345 53
22 16 Kent Vaccaro Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 84.3467 -2.1158 49
23 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 84.4599 -2.229 45

Tomorrow’s USF2000 schedule is as follows:

8:30am-9:30am USF2000 Test Session
10:50am-11:50am USF2000 Test Session
2pm-2:55pm USF2000 Test Session