By Steve Wittich
Reece Gold will start a race from the pole for the third time this season and the eighth time in his Indy Pro 2000 career.
It’s the team’s series-leading sixth pole at Road America and their 62nd all-time Indy Pro 2000 inside front row start.
The Juncos Hollinger Racing sophomore will be joined on the front row by his 22-year-old teammate Enaam Ahmed, who matches his best start of the season.
Current points leader Exclusive Autosport rookie Louis Foster will start behind Gold, with veteran Braden Eves starting alongside Foster.
Qualifying for the first of two Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By Elite Engines races began at 11:15 am. The skies were partly cloudy, the ambient temperature was 75F, and the track temperature was 87.4F.
The 16 drivers had a 30-minute window to complete 20 minutes of green flag qualifying.
Drivers hit the track with sticker Cooper Tires.
With a lap of the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course taking over two minutes, quickly getting ‘on it’ was crucial.
After the field had completed two laps, Foster held the provisional pole over Gold by 0.2417 seconds. Brichacek, Miller, and Ahmed were the top five behind the Exclusive Autosport rookie.
Foster and Miller came to pit road after two laps.
The rest of the drivers completed three laps before coming to pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tires. Just before the pitting, Gold grabbed the provisional pole, going a slim 0.0598 seconds quicker than Foster.
The top ten at the halfway point of qualifying were Gold, Foster, Brichacek, Miller, Ahmed, Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing), and Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing). It was a tight group, with less than eight-tenths of a second separating them.
The first driver to improve on fresh Cooper Tire slicks was Kaminsky, but the timing screen lit up green as drivers continued to improve.
Gold lowered the provisional pole time to 74.3358 seconds on his fifth lap, a massive 0.4690 seconds ahead of his teammate Ahmed.
The pilot of The Ticket Clinic sponsored No. 55 went quicker on his next lap, increasing his gap to his teammate.
The 17-year-old, who is second in points, was almost a half-second faster than his teammate Ahmed, but behind the Pakastani driver, starting positions from 2nd to 11th are gapped by only four-tenths of a second.
Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By Elite Engines Qualifying #1 results
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||QUICK LAP||DIFFERENCE|
|1||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||2:04.3105||——|
|2||47||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||2:04.8012||-0.4907|
|3||90||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||2:04.8318||-0.5213|
|4||4||Braden Eves||Jay Howard Driver Development||2:04.9098||-0.5993|
|5||3||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||2:04.9844||-0.6739|
|6||6||Salvador De Alba||Jay Howard Driver Develpment||2:05.0707||-0.7602|
|7||27||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||2:05.0906||-0.7801|
|8||92||Wyatt Brichacek||Exclusive Autosport||2:05.0925||-0.782|
|9||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||2:05.1656||-0.8551|
|10||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||2:05.1715||-0.861|
|11||2||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||2:05.1953||-0.8848|
|12||8||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||2:05.3986||-1.0881|
|13||1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||2:05.5427||-1.2322|
|14||18||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||2:06.4282||-2.1177|
|15||93||Lindsay Brewer||Exclusive Autosport||2:07.1107||-2.8002|
|16||83||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing||2:08.6996||-4.3891|
The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires pole-sitter at Road America, has won nine of the 20 series races on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course.
The average finishing position of the Indy Pro 2000 pole winner across the 20 races is 2.9. Inside front row starter for Race #2 in 2020, Manuel Sulaiman had the worst race, finishing 11th.
The average starting position of the Indy Pro 2000 pole winner at Road America is 3.9.