Reece Gold aboard the Juncos Hollinger Racing, The Ticket Clinic sponsored No. 55 Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires

By Diane Swintal

Indy Pro 2000 track records (both set on September 1, 2018):

  • Race Record  Rinus VeeKay  1:07.1597 (105.277 mph)
  • Qualifying Record  Rinus VeeKay   1:05.8973 (107.294 mph)

It was 62F at the start of the first test session, under cloudy skies.

There is one new driver in the field this weekend – Australian Marcos Flack, driving for Jay Howard Driver Development. Following a successful karting career, Flack has contested a variety of European Formula 4 series over the past two years, all in Tatuus chassis similar to the PM-22 he will drive this weekend.

Of the 15 drivers here this weekend, only six (Reece Gold, Yuven Sundaramoorthy, Braden Eves, Jack William Miller, Josh Green and Nolan Siegel) have raced at Portland before (all in the 2019 USF2000 races).

15 minutes into the session, championship leaders Reece Gold and Louis Foster had traded the top time back and forth several times, with both drivers the only ones under 1:09. Kiko Porto joined them in the sub-1:09 club with 10 minutes remaining, as did Braden Eves with two minutes to go. At the checkered flag, Gold held the quick time with a lap at 1:08.335. 

JHDD’s Salvador de Alba was shown as having no time, as his transponder was nonoperational.

Under sunny skies and ambient temps in the mid-70s, the cars returned to the track early in the afternoon for the second test session. Once again, Gold and Foster topped the speed charts, with Gold holding the top spot. 15 minutes into the session, 13 of the 15 cars had set quick times under 1:09. Ahmed joined Gold on the sub-1:09 list, setting quick time with 27 minutes remaining. Not to be outdone, Gold returned to the top spot minutes later.

Jonathan Browne stopped on course (reported as being out of fuel) and had to be retrieved, resulting in a 10-minute red flag. Only 10 minutes remained as the green flag came back out. Ahmed had a quick of-and-on in turn six but was able to continue with no damage. 

Gold once again held the top spot at the end of the test session, with a lap of 1:08.619 – slightly slower than his morning lap (done in much cooler conditions).  

Temps had increased to 83F by the time the green flag flew on the official practice session later in the afternoon. Porto held the top spot for the first five minutes, before Gold once again assumed command. But several minutes later, Green made hard contact with the turn 11 tires, bringing out the red flag. 

The session returned to green with 13 minutes left, but five minutes, later, the turn 11 tires claimed another victim, as Browne made contact. With insufficient time to retrieve the car, the checkered flag flew, with Gold making it a clean sweep of the day with a lap at 1:09.065.

Qualifying takes the green at 9:55 a.m. Pacific Friday, with race one at 12:20 p.m. and race two at 5:00 p.m.

Indy Pro 2000 practice times

1 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:09.0649 —— 12
2 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 1:09.4767 0.4118 13
3 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 1:09.5287 0.4638 14
4 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:09.5404 0.4755 10
5 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 1:09.6028 0.5379 7
6 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 1:09.6862 0.6213 12
7 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 1:09.7012 0.6363 10
8 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 1:09.7054 0.6405 13
9 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports w/Exclusive Autosport 1:09.7156 0.6507 13
10 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1:09.7308 0.6659 9
11 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 1:09.8357 0.7708 13
12 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1:09.9301 0.8652 9
13 5 Marcos Flack Jay Howard Driver Development 1:10.2034 1.1385 14
14 7 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1:10.7561 1.6912 8
15 93 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 1:11.1621 2.0972 9