By Steve Wittich
After the call to fire the 15 Elite Engine prepared 250 horsepower 2.0L engines, the field was afforded one lap of the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course to get their Cooper Tires ready to race.
Gold brought an Indy Pro 2000 field to the green flag for the sixth time.
Gold was the first driver to get to the fast left-hand Turn 1, but behind him, the field was two-wide and even three-wide in Charlotte’s Web.
The running order after the first lap was Gold, Kaminsky, Ahmed, Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing), Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport), Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), Salvador de Alba (Jay Howard Driver Development), Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!) and Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports).
Before the start, Miller came to pit road for repairs by the Miller Vinatieri Motorsports crew. They worked quickly, and the second-generation driver didn’t lose a lap.
On the second lap, Yuven Sundaramoorthy gained his second spot of the race, moving around Siegel for seventh.
On Lap 4, de Alba came to the attention of the Jay Howard Driver Development crew and, unfortunately, was not able to continue.
After five of 25 laps, Gold’s lead over Kaminsky was 1.2 seconds. Behind the leader, Kaminsky, Ahmed, Eves, Foster, and Green were all covered by only one second.
Pole driver Gold was consistently turning laps two-tenths of a second quicker than the second-place driver, building a two-second lead.
The rest of the top ten was Ahmed, Eves, Foster, Green, Sundaramoorthy, Siegel, Porto, and Missig.
On Lap 11, Gold turned the quickest lap of the race, increasing his lead to 2.2 seconds.
The battle for second through sixth was still close, with a little over two seconds covering the four drivers.
On the Lap 13, St. Petersburg race winner Green got around Foster for fifth.
At the front of the field, Gold was getting quicker and was the only driver turning laps under 79 seconds, building a 4.2-second lead over Kaminsky’s No. 27 with seven laps remaining.
Kaminsky faced pressure from behind, with Ahmed turning his quickest race lap.
It wasn’t just Ahmed, though, pressuring the Pabst Racing veteran. Eves, Green, and Foster were within two seconds.
On Lap 19, Foster could get back around Green in Turn 5 for the fifth spot.
On Lap 19, Siegel turned the quickest lap of the race, starting to pressure Green and Foster, the two drivers he is chasing in the championship.
On Lap 21, the battling between Foster, Eves, Green, and Siegel was fierce, with Foster moving into fourth.
The Exclusive Autosport rookie quickly took after the final spot on the podium, putting pressure on Ahmed and pressuring him into a lock-up in the braking zone in Turn 5.
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #1 unofficial results
|1||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||25 LAPS|
|2||27||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||-4.8884|
|3||47||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||-5.3197|
|4||90||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||-5.7561|
|5||4||Braden Eves||Jay Howard Driver Development||-8.5971|
|6||3||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||-9.6747|
|7||8||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||-10.0283|
|8||1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||-10.4142|
|9||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||-20.0091|
|10||2||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||-20.8589|
|11||5||Wyatt Brichacek||Jay Howard Driver Development||-21.8947|
|12||18||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||-27.0346|
|13||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||-77.4471|
|14||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||-1 LAP|
|15||6||Salvador De Alba||Jay Howard Driver Develpment||– 6 LAPS|