By Steve Wittich
After struggling (a little) to turn on the Cooper Tires early in the season, Louis Foster has figured things out.
The Exclusive Autosport rookie will start on the Indy Pro 2000 pole for the fourth straight race, out-qualifying his next closest rival – Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing)- by over two-tenths of a second.
The top six drivers were within a half-second of the pole for the race set for an 11:40 am start on Sunday.
The 14 drivers and teams of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires series followed their ‘younger’ siblings onto the 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit to qualify for the second race of the weekend.
When the 20-minute session started at 8:35 am, the ambient temperature was 73F, and the track temperature was 84F.
Race winner and championship contender Reece Gold went long into the Turn 8 run-off but was able to get his The Ticket Clinic No. 55 turned around, and the 17-year-old could continue.
Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development) and Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), both winners this season, both spent time on the provisional pole in the first half of qualifying.
However, a familiar face in Foster led the way after ten of 20 minutes. The Exclusive Autosport rookie had turned the best lap of 69.8813 seconds as he shot for his fourth straight pole. He wasn’t going to have it easy, though; Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Green, Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Eves, Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport), Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing) and Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing) were within a half-second of the pole as the drivers came to pit road for fresh tires and adjustments.
With seven and half minutes remaining in the Siegel grabbed the provisional pole. However, the driver of the Towne Ford/Race for RP No. 8 kept lowering the provisional pole as qualifying reached the three-quarters pole.
As the clock clicked to five minutes remaining, Foster returned to the provisional pole, going a hundredth of a second quicker than Siegel.
Foster continued to get quicker, and on his 11th lap, the gap between the Britain and American Siegel was 0.15 seconds.
Things were changing quickly, though. The Cooper Tires were getting into the optimal operating window, and times kept dropping.
Green was the first driver to grab the provisional pole with under three minutes remaining, but his time atop the timing screens didn’t last long. Siegel was the first driver to go under 69 seconds, turning a lap at 68.8572 seconds.
Like Green, Siegel’s time didn’t last long before Foster bested it.
The session ended with some chaos. The No. 92 Exclusive Autosport machine of Wyatt Brichacek was deep in the run-off in Turn 3.
Further along the track, the SessionGuardian/Zimperium sponsored No. 3 of Green was blocking the entrance to the pit road. The Team USA Scholarship winner was pushing hard for pole on the final lap, tapping the wall at the exit of Turn 8, causing him to lose control. The car eventually made contact with the tires at the entrance to the pit road, moving the concrete barrier and coming to rest in the first NTT INDYCAR SERIES pit box.
L&W Supply Grand Prix Of Toronto Qualifying for Race #2
|RANK||CAR NO.||DRIVER||TEAM||FAST LAP||DIFF|
|1||90||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||1:08.6292||——|
|2||8||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||1:08.8572||-0.228|
|3||3||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:09.0260||-0.3968|
|4||55||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:09.0595||-0.4303|
|5||19||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1:09.1123||-0.4831|
|6||6||Salvador De Alba||Jay Howard Driver Develpment||1:09.1311||-0.5019|
|7||47||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1:09.1454||-0.5162|
|8||40||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports w/Exclusive Autosport||1:09.2057||-0.5765|
|9||2||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||1:09.2511||-0.6219|
|10||18||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1:09.2552||-0.626|
|11||4||Braden Eves||Jay Howard Driver Development||1:09.2902||-0.661|
|12||1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1:09.4492||-0.82|
|13||92||Wyatt Brichacek||Exclusive Autosport||1:09.9382||-1.309|
|14||93||Lindsay Brewer||Exclusive Autosport||1:11.3364||-2.7072|