By Patrick Stephan
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship took to the track for qualifying with the ambient temperature at 85, and the track at 107F. Again this is the only qualifying session for the series this weekend. The fastest lap in this session will be used to set the grid for race one this evening. The second fastest lap sets the grid for races #2 and #3 UNLESS a driver goes faster in the preceding race – then they can use that lap.
Myles Rowe’s Pabst Racing crew told TSO Ladder that the issue in the first practice was that they ran him out of fuel. He got the fuel light on that final lap – but had to pull off at Turn 9 – bringing out the caution in that practice.
As with IndyPro 2000, this qualifying session will be 20 minutes of green in a 30 minute window – whichever comes first.
With about 8 minutes completed, Lochie Hughes was P1, with Myles Rowe then taking that spot with a lap of 1:22.3592. This is Hughes first weekend in a USF2000 car. He is currently leading the F4 United States Championship and won race #2 of 3 here last weekend at Mid-Ohio.
With 7 minutes to go, and some drivers just starting to head out for their second run on new tires, it’s Rowe, Hughes, Nepveu, Denmark and Frazer.
With 5 minutes to go, Jace Denmark puts in a 1:22.2070 to take P1, but that wouldn’t last as Michael d’Orlando – the point leader – drops a 1:22.1603 to move in to P1.
Jagger Jones jumps to P5, briefly, then he gets bested by Nikita Johnson as half the screen is now green with fastest laps.
Rowe moves back to P2, and is 0.0275 behind d’Orlando with 2 minutes to run.
Rowe then goes P1 with a lap of 1:22.0932.
Time expires with Rowe P1 and most of the field still on the track, so we’ll see if anyone can go quicker on this final lap…and not all the way up front, but Jacob Douglas does move up to 8th.
Per race control cars #5 (Nicky Hays), #9 (Jorge Garciarce), and #6 (Evagoras Papasavvas) will get grid penalties for staying on the track after taking the checkered flag.
With Rowe and Michael d’Orlando timing in 1-2, that puts the points leaders together on the front row, albeit in reverse order as d’Orlando came in to the weekend leading 217 to 211.
Unofficial Qualifying Results – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship – Mid-Ohio:
|Pos||Car #||Driver||Best Time||Diff||Total Laps||Best Lap||Team|
|1||22||Myles Rowe||1:22.0932||1:22.0932||13||11||Pabst Racing|
|2||4||Michael d’Orlando||1:22.1464||0.0532||13||11||Cape Motorsports|
|3||23||Jace Denmark||1:22.2070||0.1138||13||9||Pabst Racing|
|4||7||Lochie Hughes||1:22.2123||0.1191||11||9||Jay Howard Driver Development|
|5||17||Nikita Johnson||1:22.2439||0.1507||11||9||VRD Racing|
|6||92||Billy Frazer||1:22.2633||0.1701||13||11||Exclusive Autosport|
|7||11||Dylan Christie||1:22.2937||0.2005||12||10||DEForce Racing|
|8||90||Jacob Douglas||1:22.3203||0.2271||13||13||Exclusive Autosport|
|9||12||Bijoy Garg||1:22.3455||0.2523||13||10||DEForce Racing|
|10||3||Jagger Jones||1:22.3610||0.2678||12||9||Cape Motorsports|
|11||10||Thomas Nepveu||1:22.4484||0.3552||13||10||DEForce Racing|
|12||32||Christian Weir||1:22.6548||0.5616||13||10||Turn 3 Motorsport|
|13||5||Nicky Hays||1:22.7204||0.6272||11||9||Cape Motorsports|
|14||33||Spike Kohlbecker||1:22.7282||0.635||13||9||Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport|
|15||30||Viktor Andersson||1:22.7823||0.6891||13||11||VRD Racing|
|16||61||Nicholas d’Orlando||1:22.8486||0.7554||12||12||VRD Racing|
|17||2||Jackson Lee||1:23.2571||1.1639||12||9||Cape Motorsports|
|18||9||Jorge Garciarce||1:23.2704||1.1772||10||9||Jay Howard Driver Development|
|19||8||Danny Dyszelski||1:23.4233||1.3301||10||8||Jay Howard Driver Development|
|20||6||Evagoras Papasavvas||1:23.7992||1.706||10||4||Jay Howard Driver Development|