By Steve Wittich
For the fifth time in 2022 and the sixth time in his Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Pabst Racing sophomore Myles Rowe visited victory lane.
Rowe was joined on the podium by his Pabst Racing teammate Jace Denmark for the fourth straight race.
Rounding out the podium was Cape Motorsports rookie Jagger Jones.
The call to fire the 16 Elite Engine prepared 2.0 L powerplants came at 12:19 pm. The race, scheduled to start at noon, was delayed due to a need for barrier repairs from an earlier series. The first series after
After one lap behind the pace car, the front row of Denmark and Jones brought the eight rows of two under the green flag on the front straight.
Denmark and his teammate behind him on the inside, Rowe, got the jump on the inside outside row of Jones and Douglas, going nose-to-tail through the first two corners.
Rowe, back with a Force Indy livery for this event, faked inside before peeking outside but thinking better of it.
The first lap was green, with a slight issue between Jay Howard Driver Development drivers Frederik Lund and Jorge Garciarce, who tangled in Turn 3. However, both drivers were able to continue.
The running order after the first lap was Denmark, Rowe, Jones, d’Orlando, Douglas, Christian Weir (Turn 3 Motorsport), Spike Kohlbecker (Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport), Nicky Hays (Cape Motorsports), Bijoy Garg (DEForce Racing), Nicholas d’Orlando (Exclusive Autosport), Evagoras Papasavvas (Jay Howard Driver Development), Dylan Christie (DEForce Racing), Thomas Nepveu (DEForce Racing), Billy Frazer (Exclusive Autosport), Frederik Lund (Jay Howard Driver Development) and Jorge Garciarce (Jay Howard Driver Development)
On Lap 3, Rowe went to the lead in Turn 3, getting around his younger teammate to lead for the seventh time this season.
It took Rowe two laps to pull a one-second gap, as the Penske Entertainment sponsored machine was the only car under 73 seconds.
Rowe slowly continued to build his lead, getting the crossed flags to signify the halfway point of the 20-lap race by 1.9 seconds.
Jones was 1.5 seconds adrift of Denmark, who had championship contender d’Orlando within a second. The front four had a nice gap to Douglas in fifth.
The rest of the running order from sixth to 16th was Hays, Kohlbecker, Weir, N. d’Orlando, Papasavvas, Garg, Christie, Nepveu, Frazer, Lund, and Garciarce.
On Lap 11, Papasavvas, who was in the top ten, made contact somewhere on the course. The rookie drove the No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development machine back to pit road but was forced to retire.
On unlucky Lap 13, Denmark made a mistake, dropping four seconds behind Rowe and falling into the clutches of the Cape Motorsports duo of Jones and d’Orlando.
Rowe’s lead over Denmark had grown to just over five seconds with five laps remaining. Denmark in the Radford Racing School/Metal Works sponsored No. 23 had a nine-tenths of a second gap to Jones. The third generation had a similar gap to his teammate, d’Orlando.
The best battle on the track was for tenth, with a pair of DEForce Racing teammates fighting for tenth. The two were separated by only a tenth of a second when they got the white flag. The Stilo sponsored No. 11 of Christie could hold on over his teammate, who faced heavy pressure from Garg.
At the front of the field, Rowe got the checkered flag 5.8 seconds ahead of his teammate.
Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Race #1 unofficial results
|1||22||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||20 LAPS|
|2||23||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||-5.8524|
|3||3||Jagger Jones||Cape Motorsports||-7.0781|
|4||4||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||-8.4351|
|5||90||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||-13.6064|
|6||5||Nicky Hays||Cape Motorsports||-14.1637|
|7||33||Spike Kohlbecker||Turn 3 Motorsport w/Ignite Autosport||-18.8523|
|8||32||Christian Weir||Turn 3 Motorsport||-20.8885|
|9||91||Nicholas d’Orlando||Exclusive Autosport||-24.3994|
|10||11||Dylan Christie||DEForce Racing||-25.5306|
|11||10||Thomas Nepveu||DEForce Racing||-26.3456|
|12||12||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||-26.5124|
|13||92||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||-27.6383|
|14||9||Jorge Garciarce||Jay Howard Driver Development||-33.9468|
|15||7||Frederik Lund||Jay Howard Driver Development||– 5 LAPS|
|16||6||Evagoras Papasavvas||Jay Howard Driver Development||-9 LAPS|