Archives for 2021 Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires Coverage

Kirkwood drives away for third straight Indy Lights win and the championship points lead

The rear wing of the Road to Indy/Cooper Tires/Construction Contractors Club sponsored No. 28 was all the rest of the Indy Lights field saw during race #1 at Road America Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

The front row of Frost and Malukas brought the field to the green flag, with Malukas quickly slotting in behind the pole-sitter.

The HMD Trucking sponsored No. 79 popped to the outside of the DAN-JET sponsored No. 68, forcing Frost onto the curbing inside the fast right-hander. That put the Singaporean’s car into a lazy spin and initiated contact with Malukas.

Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport), who started third, also took slight contact with Frost while trying to avoid the spinning cars. Also forced wide but avoiding contact was Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport).

That opened the door for Juncos Racing’s Toby Sowery to duck down the inside to

The surprising running order at the end of the first lap was Sowery, Linus Lundqvist (Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports), Kirkwood, Alex Peroni (Carlin), Sting Ray Robb (Juncos Racing), Benjamin Pedersen (Global Racing Group w/HMD), Antonio Serravalle (Pserra Racing), Nikita Lastochkin (HMD Motorsports), Christian Bogle (Carlin), Robert Megennis (Andretti Autosport), Malukas, DeFrancesco and Frost.

Frost came to come to pit road for a new front wing and left front tire. Unfortunately, the pole-sitter lost a lap.

DeFrancesco also came to pit road so that the crew could look over the PowerTap No. 17. The Canadian also fell down a lap.

Malukas dropped down to 11th after the incident but was able to recover to seventh place.

On Lap 3, Lundqvist was able to get past Sowery going to the inside of the Juncos Racing veteran before Turn 1. Kirkwood quickly jumped on Sowery, going down the inside in Turn 5.

Kirkwood outbroke Lundqvist into Turn 5, quickly pulling a one-second gap as they completed Lap 5.

On Lap 6, Lundqvist went a little too deep into Turn 6, opening the door for Carlin rookie Peroni, who was now second after starting ninth.

Things finally settled down, with drivers settling into a rhythm to work on keeping as much life as possible in their Cooper Tires.

At the halfway point of the race, Kirkwood’s lead over Peroni was 2.8 seconds.

At the halfway point of the race, the running order was Kirkwood, Peroni, Lundqvist, Pedersen, Sowery, Megennis, Robb, Serravalle, Bogle, Malukas, Lastochkin, DeFrancesco, and Frost.

On the next lap, Peroni had an issue, falling six seconds adrift of Kirkwood. The Aussie was slow on the track and was forced to come to pit road after reporting to the team that he had lost fourth gear.

With five laps remaining, Kirkwood had pulled a 9.1 second lead over Lundqvist, who was starting to face some pressure from his teammate Pedersen.

With three laps remaining, the battle for second and third between the bright orange and black cars from Global Racing Group was joined by Megennis.

On Lap 19, Pedersen used push-to-pass to get beside Lundqvist into the braking zone of Turn 5. The Dane made a brave pass around the outside of Lundqvist in Turn 5, getting the power down at the exit of the 90-degree

Kirkwood took the white flag 10.2 seconds ahead of Pedersen. Behind Pedersen, the tussling wasn’t over.

Megennis got a good run off Turn 3, diving to the inside of Lundqvist in Turn 5. The pair went side-by-side on the run uphill to Turn 6. Megennis had the preferred inside line, solidifying the final spot on the podium.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered By AER Race #1 Results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 20 LAPS
2 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports -11.0667
3 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport -12.4513
4 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports -13.8048
5 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing -20.8627
6 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing -21.8642
7 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports -23.5816
8 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing -29.8924
9 7 Christian Bogle Carlin -30.5161
10 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport -65.0935
11 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport -1 LAP
12 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports – 5 LAPS
13 5 Alex Peroni Carlin – 8 LAPS

The second Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires of the weekend at Road America is set to roll off at 8:50 am on Sunday.

Juncos Racing’s Manuel Sulaiman goes wire-to-wire for Indy Pro 2000 win at Road America

Manuel Sulaiman, who won his second straight Indy Pro 2000 pole at road, on pit road in the Telcel/Infinitum/WBC/Inteligentus/Anahuac sponsored No. 22 from the Juncos Racing stable Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Manuel Sulaiman and Artem Petrov brought the Indy Pro 2000 slowly up the hill to the green flag.

The 13 drivers got cleanly through Turn 1, but an incident at the exit of Turn 3 brought out the yellow flag.

Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), championship leader Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development), Kyffin Simpson (Juncos Racing), and Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development) did not come around to take the yellow flag, indicating they were involved.

Those drivers started from the fifth, sixth, eighth, and 11th spots.

According to Greg Creamer on the PA, two drivers were on the driver’s left, and two were on the driver’s right.

It was a long yellow as the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team got the incident cleaned up.

Thankfully, all four drivers were checked, released, and cleared to drive.

The running order at the end of the first lap, under yellow, was Sulaiman, Petrov, Abel, Gold, Roe, McElrea, Eves, and Yeany.

The green came back out to start Lap 4. Petrov took a look outside Sulaiman in Turn 1 but wisely tucked back in behind the pole-sitter.

Eves was able to get past McElrea to the sixth spot on the first lap back to green.

On Lap 6, Eves moved into fifth, passing Roe into Canada Corner.

Reece Gold, who started fourth, moved onto the final spot on the podium on Lap 7.

Upfront, Petrov was putting pressure on Sulaiman, getting the crossed flags only 0.4571 seconds behind the Juncos Racing sophomore.

Behind the battle for the lead, Abel was starting to put pressure back on Gold. Also, Eves had Roe in his mirrors.

It looked like Petrov was better between Turn 5 and The Carousel, but the No. 22 of Sulaiman had better top-end speed.

With five minutes remaining, the top seven were all still in contention, crossing the start/finish line within six seconds of each other.

As they started Lap 12, Gold and Abel went side-by-side down the front straight with the Abel Motorsports driver faking outside before diving to the inside and making the pass.

Later on that lap, Petrov looked to the outside for the lead in Canada Corner, locking up the brakes and getting sideways, before dropping back in behind Sulaiman.

On Lap 13, Eves went the long way around Gold in Canada Corner, completing the daring pass and moving into fourth.

Sulaiman’s lead when he was shown the white flag was 0.5 seconds. Petrov only had four-tenths-of-a-second over Abel.

As the front three made the run down the Morraine Sweep, Abel moved to the outside of Petrov. The Exclusive Autosport driver was able to hold off the charge from Abel, crossing the line just ahead of the Butler University student.

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 22 Manuel Sulaiman Juncos Racing ——
2 42 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 0.5051
3 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1.1073
4 91 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 4.3899
5 55 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 4.5983
6 3 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 6.5145
7 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 6.9401
8 11 Hunter Yeany Velocity Racing Development 7.6299
9 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports Contact
10 1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development Contact
11 21 Kyffin Simpson Juncos Racing Contact
12 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development Contact

DEForce Racing’s Kiko Porto goes wire-to-wire to win USF2000 race at Road America

Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing) on track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2021 Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

The call to fire the Elite Engine-built 2.0L engines came from Elite Engine’s Logan Knapp.

The all DEForce Racing front row of Porto and Siegel brought the 25-car field up the hill to the green flag after one pace lap.

The teammate wents went through the right-hand Turn 1 side-by-side before Porto took the lead on the run downhill to Turn 3.

Siegel’s Turn 3 exit wasn’t optimal, and he lost spots to d’Orlando and Kohlbecker on the run down to Turn 4.

The running order at the end of Lap 1 was Porto, d’Orlando, Kohlbecker, Siegel, Green, Sundaramoorthy, Brooks, Sikes, Garg, Campbell, Nepveu, Pierson, Frazer, Evans, Navarro, Christie, Lee, Vodanovich, Burke, Myers, Rowe, Stamer, Denmark, Vaccaro, and Round-Garrido.

The big mover on the first lap was Legacy Autosport’s Simon Sikes, who went from 16th to eighth.

Just as the leaders crossed the line to start Lap 2, the yellow flag came out for an incident involving Erik Evans and Billy Frazer in Turn 6. The No. 91 Exclusive Autosport machine was the big loser, ending in the tire barrier after a wild ride through the gravel trap.

Before the yellow flag, championship contender Brooks got around Sundaramoorthy and Sikes, moving up two spots on the second lap after gaining three places on the first lap of the 12 lap race.

The green flag came back out to start Lap 4. d’Orlando got a significant jump with the Cape Motorsports driver and pole-sitter going side-by-side from Turn 1 through Canada Corner. d’Orlando was able to grab the lead, crossing the line first to start Lap 5.

On the run down to Turn 1, Porto got beside d’Orlando, completing the pass for the lead on the outside of the fast right-hander.

At the halfway point of the race, Porto’s lead was 0.8 seconds over d’Orlando, who was facing pressure from his teammate Kohlbecker.

The running order at the halfway point of the race was Porto, d’Orlando, Kohlbecker, Brooks, Siegel, Sundaramoorthy, Pierson, Green, Nepveau, Navarro, Lee, Christie, Campbell, Garg, Vodanovich, Burke, Evans, Vacarro, Stammer, Myers, Rowe, Denmark, Round-Garrido, and Frazer.

On Lap 7, outside front row starter Siegel dropped his Coopers in Turn 13, losing a pair of spots to Brooks and Sikes and falling to sixth.

With four laps remaining, Porto’s lead was 0.7849 seconds over d’Orlando. Kohlbecker was 2.3 seconds behind second.

Behind the podium runners, Brooks, Siegel, and Sikes were battling for fourth, with Siegel moving back to the fourth spot on Lap 9.

Pierson and Sikes fell into the clutches of points leader Sundaramoorthy on the final two laps, with Sundaramoorthy able to get by his teammate Pierson and just about catching Sikes.

Porto took the white flag 0.9 seconds ahead of d’Orlando, hitting his marks on his final lap and crossing under the twin-checkered flags ahead of the rest of the field.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By Elite Engines Race #1 unofficial results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 12 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 12 LAPS
2 4 Michael d’Orlando Cape Motorsports 0.8813
3 5 Spike Kohlbecker Ignite Autosports w/Cape Motorsports 5.9938
4 10 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 7.5576
5 44 Christian Brooks Exclusive Autosport 9.8622
6 19 Simon Sikes Legacy Autosport 11.8724
7 22 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 12.0547
8 24 Josh Pierson Pabst Racing 12.3478
9 33 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 13.4181
10 2 Thomas Nepveu Cape Motorsports 13.7844
11 11 Prescott Campbell DEForce Racing 15.3530
12 6 Bijoy Garg Jay Howard Driver Development 21.8262
13 34 Dylan Christie Turn 3 Motorsport 22.2077
14 9 Peter Vodanovich Jay Howard Driver Development 22.4305
15 63 Trey Burke Joe Dooling Autosports 22.9518
16 3 Evan Stamer Ignite Autosports w/Cape Motorsports 22.9781
17 1 Ely Navarro DEForce Racing 27.7325
18 29 Erik Evans Velocity Racing Development 27.8907
19 99 Myles Rowe Force Indy 30.7693
20 42 Michael Myers Michael Myers Racing 30.9990
21 8 Jackson Lee Jay Howard Driver Development 63.5499
22 23 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 66.1392
23 92 Matt Round-Garrido Exclusive Autosport 70.3892
24 16 Kent Vaccaro Miller Vinatieri Motorsports – 1 LAP
25 91 Billy Frazer Exclusive Autosport Contact

Andretti Autosport rookie Danial Frost grabs second straight Road America pole

Danial Frost on pit road at Road America Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

For the second straight day, Danial Frost utilized a last-second flyer to grab his second straight Road America Indy Lights pole. The repeat pole winner matches the top-level Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires series little brothers – Indy Pro 2000 and USF2000 – in offering up repeat pole winners.

Frost told Rob Howden from the INDYCAR Radio Network that they finally found the gap that he needed to put the “puzzle pieces” together and grab his second straight pole.

The pole win is the second in Indy Lights for Frost and his fourth across his Road To Indy career.

Frost’s pole is the fourth at the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course for Andretti Autosport, giving them the team lead at the iconic Badger state road course.

Road America is the home track for HMD Motorsports veteran David Malukas, and for the second straight session, he just missed out on grabbing what would be his fourth pole of the season.

Devlin DeFrancesco (Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport) and Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) reversed positions from yesterday’s qualifying session but will start on the second row together again.

Points leader Linus Lundqvist, who starts fifth for today’s race, will have even more work on Sunday, after surprisingly only turning in the seventh quickest lap.

With cooler temperatures and cloudy skies, perfect conditions met the baker’s dozen Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires drivers for their second qualifying session.

With ten minutes gone in the half-hour session, Juncos Racing rookie Sting Ray Robb held the provisional pole with a lap of 115.9754 seconds. The Idahoan was followed by Kirkwood, Frost, Toby Sowery (Juncos Racing), and Alex Peroni (Carlin) in the top five.

Robb still held the provisional pole after 15-minutes of qualifying with the field on the long pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.

Just as the field started to get things wound up for their final runs at the pole, the red flag came out. The No. 7 Pelican Energy sponsored No. 7 Carlin IL-15 came to a stop on drivers left off the track in Turn 7. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team was able to get him pointed in the correct direction, and the rookie was able to drive back to pit road.

When the green flag came back out, only four minutes were remaining in the qualifying session. That resulted in a dash to be the first to get back out on track to get two hot laps to try and steal the pole from Robb.

Malukas, on his first flying lap, knocked Robb from the provisional pole, Kirkwood also surpassing the reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion.

Malukas went quicker on his next lap, but similar to the other Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying sessions, the last guy across the timing line, Frost, was the quickest driver.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of Road America Powered By AER Qualifying #2 results

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM FAST LAP DIFFERENCE
1 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:54.3044 ——
2 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:54.3999 0.0955
3 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:54.7010 0.3966
4 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:54.7574 0.4530
5 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:54.9785 0.6741
6 5 Alex Peroni Carlin 1:55.1142 0.8098
7 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:55.2796 0.9752
8 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing 1:55.4770 1.1726
9 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports 1:55.4914 1.1870
10 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:55.5840 1.2796
11 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports 1:56.3217 2.0173
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing 1:56.4788 2.1744
13 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:57.6692 3.3648

The first Indy Lights race of the weekend is set to roll off at 3:05 pm (central)

Manuel Sulaiman grabs 2nd straight Indy Pro 2000 pole at Road America – 6th straight pole of the 2021 season for Juncos Racing

Manuel Sulaiman, who won his second straight Indy Pro 2000 pole at road, on pit road in the Telcel/Infinitum/WBC/Inteligentus/Anahuac sponsored No. 22 from the Juncos Racing stable Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

For the second straight qualifying session, Juncos Racing sophomore Manuel Sulaiman blew the talented Indy Pro 2000 field away with a stunning last lap to grab the pole for Sunday’s Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered By Elite Engines Qualifying for Race #2.

It’s the 20-year-old Mexican pilot’s fifth career Indy Pro 2000 pole and his third on the 4.014-mile, 14-turn natural terrain road course.

A driver representing the Speedway, Ind. based Juncos Racing starts on the pole for the sixth straight Indy Pro 2000 race, winning all three poles on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the pole at Lucas Oil Raceway, and both poles at Road America.

The second half of the 20-minute session saw Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), Reece Gold (Juncos Racing), and Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development) all spend time on the provisional pole.

It was rookie Gold that ended the session closest to his sophomore teammate, making up an all-Juncos Racing front row.

Starting on the second row will be championship leader Rasmussen and Abel, who grabbed his second straight second-row starting spot.

With rain in the area, a 2+ minute lap, and only 20 minutes to set a pole-winning lap time, the dozen Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires drivers took to the track at 8:45 am.

After the drivers had each completed two or three laps, Gold held the early provisional pole with a lap at 125.3376 seconds.

With ten minutes remaining in the session, all drivers had come to pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.

The top five at the halfway point of qualifying were Gold, Simpson, Petrov, Roe, and McElrea.

The first driver to get their tires up to the correct pressures and temperatures was Eves, who took over the provisional pole, but that didn’t last long.

Abel and Eves spent the next seven minutes trading the provisional pole between themselves before the rest of the field started to go quicker. Over the final three minutes of the session, Eves and Abel were joined by Petrov, Gold, Rasmussen, and finally Sulaiman on the point.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered By Elite Engines Qualifying for Race #2

RANK CAR NO DRIVER TEAM FAST LAP DIFFERENCE
1 22 Manuel Sulaiman Juncos Racing 2:03.4545 ——
2 55 Reece Gold Juncos Racing 2:03.6954 0.2409
3 1 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 2:03.7714 0.3169
4 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 2:04.0287 0.5742
5 91 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 2:04.0587 0.6042
6 42 Artem Petrov Exclusive Autosport 2:04.0959 0.6414
7 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 2:04.2854 0.8309
8 21 Kyffin Simpson Juncos Racing 2:04.4649 1.0104
9 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 2:04.4683 1.0138
10 11 Hunter Yeany Velocity Racing Development 2:04.6018 1.1473
11 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 2:04.6554 1.2009
12 3 James Roe Turn 3 Motorsport 2:04.8529 1.3984

The first Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires race of the weekend is set to get the green flag at 12:10 pm (Central).

Road America – Friday Morning Session Results

By Patrick Stephan

Steve Wittich is attending to a family matter, so I will be pinch hitting on the TSOLadder.com side today.  And unfortunately, I was on an airplane (and then in the rental car) from Denver to Milwaukee when the first three official sessions of the weekend were completed.

Here is a quick recap of those sessions (please note, I didn’t actually see them so I can’t comment on red flags, etc.)

I’ll be covering the rest of today’s Road to Indy action live (and more completely of course) now that I am here at beautiful Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The first session of the day was Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship practice #1  at 8:00am.

That session was led by Matt Round-Garrido, followed by Prescott Campbell and Spike Kohlbecker.

Pos Car Driver Best Time Speed Diff Gap Best Lap Total Laps
1 92 Matt Round-Garrido 02:11.4794 109.906 –.—- –.—- 9 9
2 11 Prescott Campbell 02:11.4888 109.898 0.0094 0.0094 4 9
3 5 Spike Kohlbecker (R) 02:11.4974 109.891 0.0180 0.0086 9 10
4 12 Kiko Porto 02:11.5092 109.881 0.0298 0.0118 10 10
5 4 Michael d’Orlando 02:11.5577 109.841 0.0783 0.0485 5 5
6 10 Nolan Siegel 02:11.5648 109.835 0.0854 0.0071 10 10
7 2 Thomas Nepveu (R) 02:11.5964 109.808 0.1170 0.0316 9 9
8 22 Yuven Sundaramoorthy 02:11.6383 109.774 0.1589 0.0419 10 10
9 29 Erik Evans (R) 02:11.7183 109.707 0.2389 0.0800 8 9
10 33 Josh Green 02:11.7932 109.645 0.3138 0.0749 8 8
11 24 Josh Pierson 02:11.8265 109.617 0.3471 0.0333 8 9
12 6 Bijoy Garg 02:11.9036 109.553 0.4242 0.0771 8 8
13 34 Dylan Christie (R) 02:11.9388 109.524 0.4594 0.0352 8 8
14 23 Jace Denmark (R) 02:12.3850 109.154 0.9056 0.4462 9 9
15 1 Ely Navarro (R) 02:12.6691 108.921 1.1897 0.2841 4 4
16 99 Myles Rowe (R) 02:12.6802 108.912 1.2008 0.0111 9 9
17 19 Simon Sikes 02:12.6832 108.909 1.2038 0.0030 3 8
18 91 Billy Frazer (R) 02:12.7994 108.814 1.3200 0.1162 9 9
19 8 Jackson Lee (R) 02:13.0741 108.589 1.5947 0.2747 8 8
20 9 Peter Vodanovich (R) 02:13.2325 108.460 1.7531 0.1584 7 7
21 3 Evan Stamer (R) 02:13.3902 108.332 1.9108 0.1577 8 9
22 44 Christian Brooks 02:13.6922 108.087 2.2128 0.3020 2 3
23 16 Kent Vaccaro (R) 02:13.8744 107.940 2.3950 0.1822 6 6
24 63 Trey Burke (R) 02:13.9112 107.910 2.4318 0.0368 8 8
25 42 Michael Myers 02:14.0283 107.816 2.5489 0.1171 9 9

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship would get back on the track at 11:30am for Race #1 Qualifying.

This time it was Kiko Porto, the 17 year old from Brazil, that picked up the pole position for DE Force Racing. He will start the race alongside his teammate Nolan Siegel, with Michael d’Orlando starting third.

Porto goes in to today’s 3:30pm Central Time race trailing 5th starting Yuven Sundaramoorthy by just 7 points (177-170). Spike Kohlbecker will start the race in 4th.

d’Orlando is tied for third in the points, with Christian Brooks, who will have to come from the 12th starting spot.

Porto has a win already this season on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Total Laps Fast Lap Team
1 12 Kiko Porto 2:10.7892 6 3 DEForce Racing
2 10 Nolan Siegel 2:11.0411 0.2519 5 2 DEForce Racing
3 4 Michael d’Orlando 2:11.2916 0.5024 6 3 Cape Motorsports
4 5 Spike Kohlbecker 2:11.3259 0.5367 5 2 Ignite Autosports w/Cape
5 22 Yuven Sundaramoorthy 2:11.3968 0.6076 5 2 Pabst Racing
6 11 Prescott Campbell 2:11.4094 0.6202 6 4 DEForce Racing
7 24 Josh Pierson 2:11.5483 0.7591 5 2 Pabst Racing
8 33 Josh Green 2:11.5819 0.7927 5 2 Turn 3 Motorsport
9 23 Jace Denmark 2:11.6630 0.8738 5 2 Pabst Racing
10 92 Matt Round-Garrido 2:11.7005 0.9113 7 6 Exclusive Autosport
11 6 Bijoy Garg 2:11.7744 0.9852 6 2 Jay Howard Driver
12 44 Christian Brooks 2:11.8479 1.0587 6 2 Exclusive Autosport
13 2 Thomas Nepveu 2:11.8565 1.0673 3 2 Cape Motorsports
14 34 Dylan Christie 2:11.9074 1.1182 5 3 Turn 3 Motorsport
15 1 Ely Navarro 2:12.1118 1.3226 6 3 DEForce Racing
16 19 Simon Sikes 2:12.1244 1.3352 7 4 Legacy Autosport
17 8 Jackson Lee 2:12.2632 1.4740 5 5 Jay Howard Driver
18 29 Erik Evans 2:12.3180 1.5288 7 4 Velocity Racing Development
19 99 Myles Rowe 2:12.3203 1.5311 6 3 Force Indy
20 63 Trey Burke 2:12.4888 1.6996 7 5 Joe Dooling Autosports
21 9 Peter Vodanovich 2:12.5592 1.7700 5 4 Jay Howard Driver
22 91 Billy Frazer 2:12.7529 1.9637 6 6 Exclusive Autosport
23 3 Evan Stamer 2:12.7715 1.9823 7 6 Ignite Autosports w/Cape
24 16 Kent Vaccaro 2:13.7131 2.9239 8 4 Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
25 42 Michael Myers 2:14.2880 3.4988 7 5 Michael Myers Racing

IndyPro 2000 presented by Cooper Tires took to the track at 9:45am, and Artem Petrov just bested his Exclusive Autosport teammate Braden Eves by 0.0333 of a second. Reece Gold was third quickest.

Point leader Christian Rasmussen was 5th quick, but is only 0.0849 off the fast time. In fact, the Top-5 are within a tenth of a second and 11 of the 12 cars here are within a single second. That’s amazingly close, especially for a 4.014 mile 14 Turn race course.

These same drivers will be back out at 1:45pm Central Time for their first qualifying session.

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Total Laps Best Lap Gap Team
1 42 Artem Petrov 2:05.3626 8 6 0.000 Exclusive Autosport
2 91 Braden Eves 2:05.3959 0.0333 9 4 0.0333 Exclusive Autosport
3 55 Reece Gold 2:05.4019 0.0393 8 8 0.0060 Juncos Racing
4 22 Manuel Sulaiman 2:05.4268 0.0642 9 7 0.0249 Juncos Racing
5 1 Christian Rasmussen 2:05.4475 0.0849 6 4 0.0207 Jay Howard Driver Development
6 40 Jack William Miller 2:05.6263 0.2637 9 6 0.1788 Miller Vinatieri Motorsports
7 21 Kyffin Simpson 2:05.7644 0.4018 9 9 0.1381 Juncos Racing
8 51 Jacob Abel 2:05.8131 0.4505 9 7 0.0487 Abel Motorsports
9 3 James Roe 2:05.9182 0.5556 9 3 0.1051 Turn 3 Motorsport
10 18 Hunter McElrea 2:05.9571 0.5945 10 10 0.0389 Pabst Racing
11 5 Wyatt Brichacek 2:06.1943 0.8317 8 5 0.2372 Jay Howard Driver Development
12 11 Hunter Yeany 2:06.4782 1.1156 10 4 0.2839 Velocity Racing Development

 

The drivers in the incredibly tight Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires points battle made it’s way on to the track at 10:30am this morning, but it was 9th in the season standings Robert Megennis that topped the practice session over Alex Peroni and Toby Sowery.

Point Leader Linus Lundqvist was 7th quick. Trailing him by just a single point coming in to this weekend is David Malukus, who was 9th. Third (by 4 points) Kyle Kirkwood was 4th quickest.

The Indy Lights drivers will be back on the track at 2:30pm for their first qualifying session of the weekend.

Pos Car # Driver Best Time Diff Total Laps Fast Lap Team
1 27 Robert Megennis 1:56.0097 14 4 Andretti Autosport
2 5 Alex Peroni 1:56.2950 0.2853 8 5 Carlin
3 51 Toby Sowery 1:56.7138 0.7041 12 3 Juncos Racing
4 28 Kyle Kirkwood 1:57.0261 1.0164 14 3 Andretti Autosport
5 7 Christian Bogle 1:57.1973 1.1876 13 3 Carlin
6 17 Devlin DeFrancesco 1:57.3066 1.2969 12 3 Andretti Steinbrenner
7 26 Linus Lundqvist 1:57.3943 1.3846 14 10 Global Racing
8 68 Danial Frost 1:57.4236 1.4139 5 5 Andretti Autosport
9 79 David Malukas 1:57.6210 1.6113 14 7 HMD Motorsports
10 2 Sting Ray Robb 1:57.8748 1.8651 14 4 Juncos Racing
11 59 Nikita Lastochkin 1:57.9368 1.9271 16 7 HMD Motorsports
12 24 Benjamin Pedersen 1:58.0628 2.0531 17 4 Global Racing
13 11 Antonio Serravalle 1:58.3118 2.3021 16 5 Pserra Racing

Indy Lights at Detroit – Kyle Kirkwood holds off Linus Lundqvist for his second win of the season – the points race has tightened

Andretti Autosport rookie Kyle Kirkwood and his engineer Doug Zister won their second Indy Lights race of the 2021 season Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

For the second straight opening race of a street course event, Kyle Kirkwood went flag to flag to grab the victory.

The win is the second of the season for the 22-year-old from Jupiter, Fla. The victory is the 23rd for Kirkwood in 37 Road To Indy starts, giving the Andretti Autosport rookie a ridiculous winning percentage of 62.2%.

The win in the Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Detroit Presented By Cooper Tires race #1 is the 61st Indy Lights win for an Andretti Autosport driver.

After a mediocre first street course event two months ago in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he finished ninth and third, rookie and reigning Formula, Regional Americas Championship Powered By Honda champion Linus Lundqvist (Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports) was far more comfortable this time, hounding Kirkwood the entire race.

Toby Sowery (Juncos Racing) started third and put early pressure on Lundqvist for second place. Later in the race, the 24-year-old fell multiple seconds behind.

After the podium celebration, Sowery and Lundqvist clearly had conspired beforehand, grabbing Kirkwood and throwing him in the James Scott Memorial Fountain, jumping in after him, making for a great photo opportunity between the three drivers.

Unofficially, the top five in the Indy Lights championship are as follows:

  1. David Malukas – 168 points
  2. Linus Lundqvist – 165 points
  3. Kyle Kirkwood – 156 points
  4. Toby Sowery – 127 points
  5. Alex Peroni – 120 points

The call to fire the baker’s dozen 2.0L turbo-charged AER-prepared four-cylinder engines came at 12:05 pm. That included the Power Tap sponsored No. 17 of Devlin DeFrancesco, who made the grid after an impressive repair job by crews from all four Andretti Autosport entries.

The front row of Kirkwood and Lundqvist brought the field to the green flag after two pace laps.

As the field streamed down the front straight towards the starter stand, they were shown the yellow flag. Race control was not pleased that there was a big gap between the front and rear of the field. The race director blamed Robert Megennis, asking him to pack up sooner.

The second start was much tidier, with Kirkwood getting a good jump.

On the first green flag lap in Turn 3, Bogle spun at the exit of Turn 3. Serravalle was behind him and was able to get stopped without hitting him. Both drivers were able to continue, but Bogle came to the pit road for repairs.

After the first lap of green flag action, the running order was Kirkwood, Lundqvist, Sowery, Peroni, Malukas, Frost, Megennis, Pedersen, Robb, DeFrancesco, Lastochkin, Serravalle, and Bogle.

Kirkwood crossed the line to start Lap 4 with a 1.8 second lead over Lundqvist. The distinctive orange No. 26 of Lundqvist was being pressured by Sowery, who was within a half-second of the second spot on the podium.

After six laps of action, Kirkwood had a 1.2-second lead, just outside of the one-second push-to-pass range. The closest battle was still for second between Lundqvist and Sowery.

The top five were all within one second after eight laps of action on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit.

As the battle between Lundqvist and Sowery intensified, Kirkwood grew the gap by a half-second.

On Lap nine, Peroni started to pressure Sowery for the final step on the podium, giving Lundqvist a bit of break-in second.

With ten laps gone, Kirkwood’s lead was 1.8 seconds over Lundqvist. Sowery, Peroni, Malukas, Frost, Megennis, Pedersen, Robb, and DeFrancesco rounded out the top ten.

The best battle on the track was between Megennis and Pedersen for seventh. The Global Racing Group w/ HMD pilot took a look at the Andretti Autosport sophomore in Turn 7, with New Yorker Megennis defending successfully.

Kirkwood’s lead at the crossed flags signifying the halfway point of the 25-lap race was a consistent 1.5 seconds.

Pederson crossed the line barely ahead of Megennis on that lap but went wide in Turn 1, sliding towards the wall at the corner exit before his Cooper Tires took hold. The Dane kept his foot in it, and the pair drag raced down the long straight to Turn 3.

Megennis had the preferred inside line, and for the second time in three corners, the rear end of the No. 24 once again slid out from under Pedersen. The 22-year-old again exhibited his quick hands, just missing the tire barrier at the exit of the 90-degree corner.

As he crossed the line with ten laps remaining, Kirkwood’s lead was still 1.5 seconds over Lundqvist. Lundqvist has some breathing room over Sowery, but not much. The Juncos Racing veteran was within a second of the second spot on the podium.

Kirkwood’s lead was barely over one second and barely out of range of push-to-pass with seven laps to go.

Kirkwood’s lead as they crossed the line with six laps left in the 25 lap race was 0.8 seconds, but on that lap, Lundqvist made an error, dropping to 1.5 seconds behind Kirkwood with five laps left.

The lead with four laps to go was 1.3 seconds.

Behind the leaders, the battles between Sowery & Peroni, Frost & Malukas, along with Megennis, Robb & DeFrancesco, were all within a second.

Over the next two laps, Kirkwood maintained his lead at over one second, but over the last two laps, Lundqvist made massive inroads, starting the final lap 0.7 seconds back. Lundqvist made up 0.2 seconds on the final lap but could not get close enough to pass for the lead.

Megennis, Robb, and DeFrancesco started Lap 23 nose-to-tail in a battle for seventh. The threesome made it through the first four corners but didn’t make it through Turn 5. Megennis and Robb contacted the No. 2 of 2020 Indy Pro 2000 champion, also contacting the wall before being clipped by the neon yellow No. 17 of DeFrancesco.

Megennis held the seventh spot until the end of the race when his teammate DeFrancesco got around him on the last lap. Robb dropped down to tenth.

Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Detroit Presented By Cooper Tires race #1 results (unofficial)

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport ——
2 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports -0.5174
3 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing -6.235
4 5 Alex Peroni Carlin -7.4571
5 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports -12.0736
6 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport -13.4912
7 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport -45.0127
8 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport -48.2762
9 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports -48.4237
10 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing -72.6774
11 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports -75.8372
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing -1 LAP
13 7 Christian Bogle Carlin -4 LAPS
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Indy Lights in Detroit – Lundqvist scores third pole in abbreviated qualifying session – teammate Malukas will start alongside him

The HPD/Global Racing Group/FX Airguns/Paytrim/JULA sponsored No. 26 of Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Detroit Presented by Cooper Tires race #2 of pole winner Linus Lundqvist Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

HMD Motorsports/Global Racing Group teammates Linus Lundqvist and David Malukas spent the final five minutes of qualifying for the second race of the Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Detroit Presented By Cooper Tires twin bill when the already abbreviated session came to a premature end.

Lundqvist had just turned a lap timed at 83.5678 seconds when the red flag came out for an incident in the final corner in the last minute of the session.

Lundqvist told Rob Howden from the INDYCAR Radio Network that his Global Racing Group team certainly improved the package but that he also improved his driving.

Lundqvist’s seventh lap was 0.1609 seconds quicker than his teammate Malukas, securing his third pole of the season.

It’s the Swedish driver’s third pole of his rookie Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season, the 19th over two seasons of North American junior open-wheel racing and the 35th in his worldwide junior open-wheel career.

After missing most of practice on Friday after an expensive crash in Turn 13, the 19-year-old Indy Lights sophomore will start on the front row for the sixth time this season.

Race #1 pole-sitter Kyle Kirkwood (Andretti Autosport) will start behind Lundqvist on the inside of the second row and will be joined by his teammate Robert Megennis.

The third row will consist of a third Andretti Autosport driver Danial Frost and Juncos Racing veteran Toby Sowery.

The start of the qualifying session was delayed by two minutes for a slight issue with the pit in light. The green flag for the 20-minute session flew from the starter’s stand at 9:32 am. The ambient temperature was 73F, and the track temperature was 87F. Much different than the 83F and 114F during Friday’s qualifying session.

With a busy day scheduled for the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit, the session was set for 20 minutes instead of the standard 30 minutes. That would prove prophetic.

After only six minutes of action, the red flag came out for Antonio Serravalle and the LedgeMark Homes LivGreen/Tycoon Capital Limited No. 11 from the Pserra Racing stable.

The Canadian nosed his IL-15 into the tire barriers at the exit of Turn 6 after brushing the inside wall, which shot him wide and into the tire barriers. The Canadian got out of his car and the AMR INDYCAR Safety Team.

Only six drivers had turned exploratory laps when the bright red car of Serravalle had his incident, making the final half of the session vitally important.

The field was shown the green flag with only nine minutes remaining in the qualifying session. The dozen remaining drivers didn’t waste any time getting back on the track.

With six minutes remaining, Kyle Kirkwood, the pole sitter for Race #1, was the first driver to put in a hot lap, briefly grabbing the provisional pole.

Over the last five minutes of the session, teammates Malukas and Lundqvist traded the provisional pole multiple times, with the Andretti Autosport trio of Kirkwood, Megennis, and Frost unable to get their tires up to optimal pressure in the laps available.

With under one minute remaining in the session, after just turning the sixth quickest lap of the session, Devlin DeFrancesco made heavy contact with the concrete barrier at the exit of Turn 13, the tricky final corner of The Raceway On Belle Isle.

The Canadian was able to climb from his badly damaged PowerTap sponsored IL-15 from the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport stable, but because he caused a red flag, he was penalized his quickest lap, falling down the timing screens to ninth.

The Andretti Autosport/Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport crew will have to flail to get the car prepared for Race #1, scheduled to roll off at 12:10 pm.

Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Detroit Presented By Cooper Tires qualifying results (unofficial)

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FAST LAP DIFFERENCE
1 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:23.5678 ——
2 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:23.7287 0.1609
3 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:23.9163 0.3485
4 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:24.3663 0.7985
5 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:24.5082 0.9404
6 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing 1:24.6706 1.1028
7 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports 1:24.6773 1.1095
8 5 Alex Peroni Carlin 1:24.7018 1.1340
9 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:25.0518 1.4840
10 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports 1:25.2833 1.7155
11 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:25.4818 1.9140
12 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:25.8687 2.3009
13 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing 1:31.6842 8.1164
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Indy Lights in Detroit – Kirkwood on pole – Malukas recovers

The Road To Indy/Cooper Tires/Contractors Club sponsored No. 28 IL-15 from the Andretti Autosport stable on track at The Raceway On Belle Isle Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

Before we get started with our Indy Lights qualifying report, we need to send a shout-out to the HMD Motorsports crew. They affixed a new 2.0L turbocharged AER power plant, new gearbox, new floor, and new front and rear corners on the left side of his No. 79 IL-15 and got the points leader, David Malukas, on the track for qualifying.

For the second straight Race #1 on a street circuit, Kyle Kirkwood will have an advantage on the field after scoring the pole with a lap of 83.2582 seconds.

“This is a fun track, it’s everything I expected it to be – it’s just a lot hotter than I expected it to be,” said Kirkwood. “This car doesn’t absorb the bumps as well as an Indy car or a GTD car does, so it’s tough out there, very physical. That’s one of the track’s main characteristics. We started off with a bit of an edge since we’re able to apply some of the Andretti Indy car setup information because the two cars are fairly similar. But it seems as though everyone else has figured it out because Linus really kept me on my toes. It was the same thing that happened this morning in trading times back and forth with Alex Peroni. He’s unreal on street courses. He did well in Europe and he’s doing well over here. But we’ve learned the track quickly, I’ve got a good car and I’m driving well, so happy to get another pole for the team. Tomorrow, my goal will be to keep our pace, race well, make no mistakes and, of course, lead that first corner.”

That was 0.1716 seconds ahead of Linus Lundqvist (Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports) and 0.2781 seconds ahead of Toby Sowery (Juncos Racing), the only two drivers that were within shouting distance of the Andretti Autosport rookie pole-sitter.

The pole is the 13th in Kirkwood’s Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career and his 37th if you include all North American Junior Open Wheel series.

The pole win is the first for Andretti Autosport at the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit, but the Indianapolis, Ind. forerunners – Team Green – did win the pole with Jonny Kane in 2000. It’s the 61st Indy Lights pole for the team.

Rounding out the top five were Carlin rookie Alex Peroni and, with the story of the session, David Malukas.

At the halfway point of the session, Malukas was sitting in last on the timing screens but improved steadily as he gained experience on the track and confidence to go quick. With ten minutes remaining, the 19-year-old was 12th, and with five minutes remaining, he had moved to 10th. Finally, on his 13th lap of the half-hour session, he turned a lap at 84.0287 seconds, good enough to start on the inside of the third row.

The half-hour qualifying got underway at 2:30 pm. The ambient temperature was 83F, 9F warmer than the Friday morning practice. The track temperature was 114F, which was 28F over the track temperature at the start of this morning’s practice.

The qualifying session got off to a rough start for reigning Indy Pro 2000 champion Sting Ray Robb. The Juncos Racing rookie got all four wheels over the line at the pit exit and was penalized a drive-thru for an improper pit exit.

Lundqvist, Peroni, and Kirkwood all held the provisional pole in the first half of the qualifying session. At the halfway point of the session, several drivers were on pit road making adjustments and affixing fresh Cooper Tires.

Kirkwood held the provisional pole, turning a lap at 83.8099 seconds. That was four-tenths of a second quicker than the 22-year-old’s session leading lap from the morning practice.

The remainder of the top five after 15 minutes qualifying was DeFrancesco, Peroni, Sowery, and Lundqvist.

The first driver to go quicker on new tires, with just over ten minutes remaining, was Benjamin Pedersen (HMD Motorsports w/Global Racing Group).

The timing screen started to light up green as drivers began to get their Cooper Tires up to the optimal operating temperature.

With four minutes to go, Lundqvist was the first driver to get within a tenth-of-a-second of Kirkwood, but Kirkwood was able to lower the provisional pole time on his next lap.

With just over two minutes remaining, Lundqvist and Sowery both went quicker than Kirkwood. As a result, the Swede’s time on the provisional pole was short-lived. On his second last and 16th lap of the session, Kirkwood went back to the top.

Danial Frost, who was pushing hard on his final lap, made contact with the barriers in Turn 7. Race control announced that he was out of the car. We’ll update you when we get a chance to check in with the team.

Indy Lights Grand Prix Of Detroit Presented By Cooper Tires qualifying results (unofficial)

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FAST LAP DIFFERENCE
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood Andretti Autosport 1:23.2582 ——
2 26 Linus Lundqvist Global Racing Group w/HMD Motorsports 1:23.4298 0.1716
3 51 Toby Sowery Juncos Racing 1:23.5363 0.2781
4 5 Alex Peroni Carlin 1:23.8502 0.5920
5 79 David Malukas HMD Motorsports 1:24.0287 0.7705
6 68 Danial Frost Andretti Autosport 1:24.0650 0.8068
7 24 Benjamin Pedersen Global Racing Group wHMD Motorsports 1:24.1385 0.8803
8 27 Robert Megennis Andretti Autosport 1:24.2950 1.0368
9 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:24.3631 1.1049
10 59 Nikita Lastochkin HMD Motorsports 1:24.3918 1.1336
11 17 Devlin DeFrancesco Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport 1:24.4833 1.2251
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing 1:25.1555 1.8973
13 7 Christian Bogle Carlin 1:25.2760 2.0178

The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires drivers are back on track tomorrow at 9:30 am, and the first race is set for 12:10 pm.

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A note about our presenting sponsor. 

Once again, a huge thank you to Cooper Tires for coming back to be the presenting sponsor of TSO Ladder for the fourth season. Without them, we would not be able to bring you our extensive Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires coverage. If you require tires, I highly recommend them. Our family has the Discover ® AT3 4S  on our SUV and CS5 Grand Touring on our car.

Indy Lights in Detroit – HMD Motorsports/David Malukas update – Juncos Racing update – first impressions

David Malukas on track in the HMD Trucking sponsored No. 79 prior to making contact with the concrete barrier in the final corner of the circuit during practice Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

A couple of updates after a quick walk in the Indy Lights paddock.

The HMD Motorsports crew is hard at work repairing the No. 79 HMD Motorsports machine of points leader David Malukas. While the hit didn’t look that bad, the rear end of the car hit the concrete wall at just the right (wrong) angle to transfer a large portion of the crash’s energy to the internals. As a result, the car will require a new 2.0L turbocharged AER power plant, a new gearbox, a new floor, and both corners on the left side of the car.

The team expects to have the car ready for qualifying.


There has been an engineering change at Juncos Racing. Engineer Tim Neff and the Speedway, Ind.-based team have parted ways.

The multi-championship Indy Lights winning engineer started his own team, TJ Speed Motorsports, during the off-season and has entered four cars for the first two rounds of the Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered By Honda. Along with an investor, the Australian purchased the Belardi Auto Racing Indy Lights equipment and is expected to enter the top rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires next season.

Team owner Ricardo Juncos has taken over the engineering duties for the m-start/Kumpf sponsored No. 51 of Toby Sowery.

Toby Sowery wheels the m-start/Kumpf sponsored No. 51 Juncos Racing machine around the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit during Indy Lights practice Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy


We talked with a couple of drivers about their first impressions of the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Raceway at Belle Isle Park street circuit, and the responses were pretty uniform. It’s slippery, bumpy, but also ‘fun.’

While some of the setup parameters from the St. Petersburg and Exhibition Place street circuits transfer, it’s the Sebring International Raceway that most accurately mimics the Belle Isle track. It sounds like hitting on the correct ride height will be paramount to qualifying upfront.

Qualifying is set to roll off at 2:30 pm.


Don’t miss any of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires action:


A note about our presenting sponsor. 

Once again, a huge thank you to Cooper Tires for coming back to be the presenting sponsor of TSO Ladder for the fourth season. Without them, we would not be able to bring you our extensive Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires coverage. If you require tires, I highly recommend them. Our family has the Discover ® AT3 4S  on our SUV and CS5 Grand Touring on our car.

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