By Steve Wittich
For the second time in his four-race old Indy Pro 2000 and the fourth time in his Road To Indy career, DEForce Racing’s Nolan Siegel will start from the pole.
Starting from the inside of the front row on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course is nothing new for the 17-year-old from Palo Alto, Calif. He started from the pole in the second USF2000 race last year.
It’s the first pole for the Texas-based team at Barber Motorsports Park and their fifth Indy Pro 2000 pole overall.
On his 11th of 13 laps, Siegel turned a circuit at 87.8455 seconds. That was good enough, but barely. Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), a pole sitter at this track last year, missed another pole by six thousandths of a second.
Race #1 podium driver Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing) was only a half-second off the pole and will start inside the second row.
Race #1 winner, Juncos Hollinger Racing veteran Reece Gold will start on the outside of his teammate.
The top nine positions also included reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Champion Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), and Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), were all within a half-second of Siegel.
The final session of a Saturday of on-track activity at Barber Motorsports Park was the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires’ second qualifying session of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend.
The green flag for the 20-minute session came out at 6:05 pm.
The skies over the always gorgeous 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course were cloudy, but the rain held off after a few drops earlier. The ambient temperature was a comfortable 76F.
All 15 drivers were on track early, with Race #1 pole-sitter and race winner Reece Gold having the quickest lap.
After seven minutes, Fatboy Racing! veteran Charles Finelli went off track in Turn 16, but he could continue.
Right before the halfway point of qualifying, the drivers were all on pit road for adjustment and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.
Gold, with a lap of 88.4047 seconds, was the quickest driver and was followed in the top ten by Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsport) and Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport).
The first drivers to go quicker in the second half of the session were Pabst Racing rookies Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Jordan Missig.
Sundaramoorthy continued to go quicker, jumping to second on the timing screens with four minutes left in qualifying. His lap was only one-hundredth of a second slower than Gold.
In the final three minutes, Foster, Eves, Kaminsky, and finally Siegel held the provisional pole.
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #2 unofficial qualifying results
|RANK||CAR. NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||8||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||1:17.8455||——|
|2||4||Braden Eves||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:17.8524||-0.0069|
|3||47||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:17.9006||-0.0551|
|4||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:17.9544||-0.1089|
|5||1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:18.0352||-0.1897|
|6||90||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||1:18.0921||-0.2466|
|7||27||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||1:18.1324||-0.2869|
|8||3||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:18.2023||-0.3568|
|9||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1:18.3279||-0.4824|
|10||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1:18.3636||-0.5181|
|11||18||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:18.4239||-0.5784|
|12||2||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:18.5737||-0.7282|
|13||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:18.9748||-1.1293|
|14||6||Salvador De Alba||Jay Howard Driver Develpment||1:19.1750||-1.3295|
|15||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||1:21.9247||-4.0792|
The second race of the weekend rolls off at 2:30 pm on Sunday. So it’s the last on-track activity of the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.