By Steve Wittich
When the green flag for USF2000 qualifying came out at 8 am, the ambient temperature at the track was 63F, and there was a light rain falling.
The drivers ventured out on Cooper Tire wet weather tires, tip-toeing around the 2.258-Mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course.
Several drivers had adventures, spinning or going off-roading, on their out laps, but all could continue, keeping the track green.
The red flag came out after seven and a half minutes of action for incidents in multiple corners.
There were three cars stuck in China Beach and one car in tires outside Turn 1.
Michael d’Orlando, Prescott Campbell, and Josh Green were the drivers off the track in Turn 4.
The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to get d’Orlando back on the track, re-started, and yesterday’s pole-sitter drove back to pit road.
The cars of Campbell and Green sustained damage and required wreckers to get them back to the USF2000 paddock.
In Turn 1, it was Turn 3 Motorsport rookie Christian Weir that was in the tires. The 14-year-old got out of the car on his own, but the car sustained enough damage that it had to be craned back to the paddock. The tire barrier in Turn 1 required repair, necessitating a delay
All 22 drivers had completed two laps at ‘speed,’ with champion Porto hold the provisional pole. The rest of the top ten were Sundaramoorthy, Green, Navarro, Campbell, Siegel, Weir, d’Orlando, Denmark, and Pierson.
However, with four of the top ten involved in the red flags, that would change.
Race control abandoned the session with only five minutes remaining in the allotted 30-minutes for qualifying and 12 minutes of the 20-minutes remaining. Over the race control channel, it was announced that the grid would be set via the second-fastest lap from Saturday’s qualifying session.