By Steve Wittich
For the third straight USF2000 spring training session, the Hot Wheels/Chaco Flaco/Bell Helmets sponsored Exclusive Autosport No. 44 wheeled by Christian Brooks was the quickest of the 23 drivers.
Brooks’ best lap of 80.7981 seconds in ideal conditions was almost 1.5 seconds quicker than his test leading lap on Sunday.
Next on the timing screens were a trio, Prescott Campbell, Nolan Siegel, and Kiko Porto, of veteran DEForce Racing drivers.
Rounding out the veteran driver-dominated top five was Pabst Racing sophomore Josh Pierson.
The quickest rookie was Pierson’s teammate Jace Denmark.
The top 16 drivers were within a second of Brooks, and 20 of the 23 pilots are below the track record of 83.009 seconds set by Michael Epps in 2014.
Matching the two sessions on Easter Sunday, the early leader in the session was Brooks. The Exclusive Autosport sophomore took advantage of the cool weather and only took four laps to eclipse his fastest lap from the first day of spring training, turning a lap at 82.1106 seconds.
With just under 15 minutes expired in the one-hour session, a pair of Pabst Racing drivers jumped to the top of the timesheet. First, it was veteran Yuven Sundaramoorthy, who was followed by Jace Denmark.
It didn’t take long for Brooks to jump back to the top of the timing screens. The Californian was the first driver to crack into the 81-second range. The rest of the top five at the one-quarter pole were Siegel (DEForce Racing), Josh Pierson (Pabst Racing), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), and Bijoy Garg (Jay Howard Driver Development).
A pair of rookies, Thomas Nepveu (Cape Motorsports) and Kent Vaccaro (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), were the only drivers that had not yet turned a lap.
Siegel was the next driver to jump to the top of the timing screens. The 16-year-old driving for DEForce Racing clocked in at 81.1966 seconds on his fourth lap of the morning.
DEForce Racing sophomore Prescott Campbell was the next driver to jump to the pointiest portion of the timing sheets, becoming the first driver to turn a lap below 81 seconds.
At the halfway point of the session, Campbell’s time was still the best, and the Californian was the only driver with a lap under 81 seconds. He was joined in the top ten by Brooks, Siegel, Porto, Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports), Grant Palmer (Exclusive Autosport), Spike Kohlbecker (Cape Motorsports), Dylan Christie (Turn 3 Motorsport), Josh Pierson (Pabst Racing).
For the next fifteen minutes, many drivers continued to get quicker, including Kohlbecker, Palmer, Rowe, Jackson Lee (Jay Howard Driver Development), and Brooks, the second driver to break into the 80-second laps.
With fifteen left in the session, 19 of the 23 drivers were within 1.1 seconds of Campbell’s quickest lap.
Behind Campbell, Brooks, and Siegel at the top of the timing screens, times continued to fall, with Denmark, Sundaramoorthy, Pierson, Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport), and Myles Rowe (Force Indy) all jumping into the top ten within a half-second of Campbell.
Brooks found himself in a familiar position atop the timing screen with just under ten minutes remaining when he turned a lap timed at 80.7981 seconds.
With 54 minutes of the session expired, the first red flag of the morning session came out for three minutes before the track went back to green, allowing the drivers one more chance to set a lap time.
The 22 drivers that took to the Barber Motorsports Park road course completed 587 laps of running. Rookies Denmark and Burke were the busiest drivers, each completing 34 circuits, but they weren’t alone in getting the miles. Eight drivers completed 30 or more laps.
The only driver to not turn a lap was Cape Motorsports rookie Thomas Nepveu, who had electrical issues with the No. 2 Cape Motorsports machine.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship spring training at Barber Motorsports Park test session #3 timesheet.
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1:20.7981||0.000||28|
|2||11||Prescott Campbell||DEForce Racing||1:20.9386||0.1405||22|
|3||10||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||1:21.0929||0.2948||18|
|4||12||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:21.3141||0.5160||23|
|5||24||Josh Pierson||Pabst Racing||1:21.3248||0.5267||33|
|6||23||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1:21.3891||0.5910||34|
|7||22||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:21.4300||0.6319||33|
|8||91||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||1:21.4547||0.6566||28|
|9||99||Myles Rowe||Force Indy||1:21.4773||0.6792||32|
|10||5||Spike Kohlbecker||Cape Motorsports||1:21.4872||0.6891||33|
|11||33||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:21.4896||0.6915||25|
|12||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:21.5406||0.7425||32|
|13||90||Grant Palmer||Exclusive Autosport||1:21.5410||0.7429||29|
|14||34||Dylan Christie||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:21.5938||0.7957||27|
|15||6||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:21.7041||0.9060||24|
|16||1||Ely Navarro||DEForce Racing||1:21.7234||0.9253||25|
|17||9||Peter Vodanovich||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:21.9157||1.1176||25|
|18||8||Jackson Lee||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.0041||1.2060||23|
|19||3||Evan Stamer||Cape Motorsports||1:22.0362||1.2381||30|
|20||29||Erik Evans||Velocity Racing Development||1:22.4156||1.6175||14|
|21||16||Kent Vaccaro||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:23.1678||2.3697||15|
|22||63||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||1:23.6030||2.8049||34|
|23||2||Thomas Nepveu||Cape Motorsports||No Time||—||—|
Look for these same cars and drivers at 10:50 am (central) for their fourth test session of spring training.
Don’t miss any of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires action:
- download the Road To Indy TV app from the Apple App Store or on Google Play to get video, audio, timing & scoring, news from TSO Ladder and much more – you can also get Road To Indy TV via Apple TV, Amazon Video, Roku or Microsoft Xbox One
- live timing – Road To Indy TV – Indy Lights – Pro Mazda – USF2000 – IndyCar Race Control
- on twitter – TSO Ladder – Team Cooper Tire – Road To Indy TV – Indy Lights – Indy Pro 2000 – USF2000
- on all social media channels via the #TeamCooperTire and #RoadToIndy hashtags
A note about our presenting sponsor.
Once again, a huge thank you to Cooper Tires for coming back to be the presenting sponsor of TSO Ladder for the fourth season. Without them, we would not be able to bring you our extensive Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires coverage. If you require tires, I highly recommend them. Our family has the Discover ® AT3 4S on our SUV and CS5 Grand Touring on our car.
Cooper Tires 2021 Spring Promotion runs through April 12 and has some great bargains. Click here to learn more and find out where to purchase your Coopers.