By Steve Wittich
During the final USF2000 spring training test session, the top of the timing screens featured a party for DEForce Racing drivers.
Third-year driver Nolan Siegel, a 16-year-old from Palo Alto, Calif., and his 17-year-old Brazilian teammate Kiko Porto traded the top spot at least a half-dozen times. They were joined in the top six during the session by teammates Prescott Campbell and Ely Navarro, who sat in spots one-two-three-four on the timesheet with five minutes left in the session.
A pair of rookies, Grant Palmer (Exclusive Autosport) and Erik Evans (Velocity Racing Development), were last-minute interlopers, ending the session with the third and fifth quickest times.
At the fifteen-minute mark of the final USF2000 session, 19 of the 23 cars had been on track. The Pabst Racing trio of Yuven Sundaramoorthy, Jace Denmark, and Josh Pierson, along with Exclusive Autosport’s Christian Brooks, had not yet ventured out on track.
It’s not surprising to see Pabst Racing skip out on the final test session. With only four sets of tires for the four sessions, that’s something that the Oconomowoc, Wisc. does fairly regularly.
With 45-minutes remaining, veteran Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), with a lap time of 82.4336 seconds, was the quickest driver. He was joined in the top five by Myles Rowe (Force Indy), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Dylan Christie (Turn 3 Motorsport), and Michael d’Orlando (Cape Motorsports).
Over the next 15-minutes DEForce Racing teammates Porto and Prescott Campbell traded the top spot on timing screens.
The third member of the DEForce Racing family, Siegel, joined the party with his teammates, grabbing the top spot lap with a time of 82.1870 just before halfway.
He was joined in the top five by Porto, Campbell, Rowe, and d’Orlando. The top 15 drivers were all within one second of Siegel.
With 15 minutes remaining in the session, the top three spots on the timing screen were the trio of DEForce Racing drivers.
With just over seven minutes, the top spot changed hands between DEForce Racing teammates again, with Porto turning the lap below 82-seconds during the session.
In the last ten minutes of the session, the fourth member of the DEForce Racing squad, rookie Ely Navarro joined the party, moving to third on the timing screens. The 2020 Lucas Oil Formula Championship Series title winner ended the day with the fifth quickest time.
With just over a minute remaining, Siegel put down a flyer, taking the top spot back from his DEForce Racing teammate Porto.
Also laying down a last-second flyer was Velocity Racing Development rookie Evans, who ended up turning the fifth quickest lap of the session.
Siegel, Palmer, Campbell, Peter Vodanovich (Jay Howard Driver Development), and Jackson Lee (Jay Howard Driver Development) all turned their quickest laps on their final laps of spring training. A great way to build confidence for the upcoming season.
Also moving into the top five at the end of the session was Exclusive Autosport rookie Grant Palmer, who moved from fifth to fourth to third on his 29th, 30th, and 31st laps.
The 19 drivers completed 483 laps, the fewest of the five test sessions.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship spring training at Barber Motorsports Park test session #5 timesheet.
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||10||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||1:21.6266||0.000||17|
|2||12||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:21.7681||0.1415||26|
|3||90||Grant Palmer||Exclusive Autosport||1:22.0782||0.4516||31|
|4||11||Prescott Campbell||DEForce Racing||1:22.1244||0.4978||28|
|5||29||Erik Evans||Velocity Racing Development||1:22.1923||0.5657||31|
|6||1||Ely Navarro||DEForce Racing||1:22.3098||0.6832||19|
|7||91||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||1:22.3458||0.7192||32|
|8||9||Peter Vodanovich||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.5186||0.8920||21|
|9||99||Myles Rowe||Force Indy||1:22.5319||0.9053||23|
|10||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||1:22.5611||0.9345||27|
|11||8||Jackson Lee||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.5918||0.9652||28|
|12||5||Spike Kohlbecker||Cape Motorsports||1:22.6294||1.0028||28|
|13||34||Dylan Christie||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:22.6646||1.0380||20|
|14||6||Bijoy Garg||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:22.7193||1.0927||17|
|15||33||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:22.7627||1.1361||20|
|16||3||Evan Stamer||Cape Motorsports||1:22.7659||1.1393||25|
|17||2||Thomas Nepveu||Cape Motorsports||1:22.8098||1.1832||31|
|18||16||Kent Vaccaro||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:23.7116||2.0850||27|
|19||63||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||1:23.7232||2.0966||32|
|20||22||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||No Time||—||—|
|21||23||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||No Time||—||—|
|22||24||Josh Pierson||Pabst Racing||No Time||—||—|
|23||44||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||No Time||—||—|
The next official Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship session will be Thursday, April 15 test session at the same circuit. The first USF2000 race of the 2021 season is set to receive the green flag at 8 am (central) on Saturday, April 17, 2021.
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