Archives for 2022 Indy Pro 2000 Coverage

Louis Foster, Exclusive Autosport finally break through in Indy Pro 2000 IMS Race 3

#90: Louis Foster , Exclusive Autosport, Copart.com, Novara Technologies. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Exclusive Autosport was due a result after showing clear pace with all its cars throughout the Indy Pro 2000 Championship weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. After a tough couple races, Englishman Louis Foster enjoyed a welcome trouble-free race and survived a late-race restart to earn an overdue first series win in the seventh round of the season.

Driving the No. 90 Tatuus PM-22, Foster took the lead by de facto teammate Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports, in an Exclusive Autosport technical alliance) before Turn 7 on Lap 3 and led the final 23 of 25 laps on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. 

Polesitter Miller spent most of his race in the wars, defending against a host of challengers. He fended off an attempt from Reece Gold (Juncos Hollinger Racing), who locked up and fell back into Yuven Sundaramoorthy’s (Pabst Racing) clutches. That hiccup allowed Braden Eves through to third. Miller lost second to Eves on Lap 16; the Jay Howard Driver Development pilot made it past Miller at the inside of Turn 1.

Eves finished second on the road and will look to hold this podium result following the technical infringement that cost him the on-the-road win in Friday’s race one. The No. 4 car was dinged for Rule 12.30.3, which reads: 

All ballast must be securely fastened, installed in the approved ballast locations (wooden plank, pedal bulkhead, behind the driver’s seat back panel, and under the engine) and not exceed the weights as listed in the Technical Manual or Bulletins. The only ballast materials allowed for use are steel or aluminum, unless otherwise instructed by the Technical Director.

Miller fought off Eves’ JHDD teammate Wyatt Brichacek in by far his best drive of the season for the final podium spot. Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing) completed the top five. 

The late battles behind Foster came to light thanks to Gold stopping on track with a mechanical issue on Lap 18, which brought out the race’s only full-course caution. The race two winner was running fourth when his troubles struck. Foster lost what had been an 8.6659-second lead in the process.

Nolan Siegel had a quiet race and finished sixth, best of the DEForce Racing entries, ahead of the leading Turn 3 Motorsport entry of Josh Green. Pabst Racing struggled with its trio of entries finishing 10th, 11th and 12th. Race one winner Salvador De Alba didn’t start this race due to mechanical issues.

Provisionally, Siegel leads the standings by just three points heading to the now rebranded Indianapolis Raceway Park oval, formerly Lucas Oil Raceway, later this month. He has 141 points with Foster making something of his weekend to get to 138. Gold falls to third with 130, and Eves sits fourth with 120.

Indy Pro 2000 GP of Indianapolis – Race #3 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 25 LAP 25
2 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 25 2.5609
3 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 25 6.7533
4 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 25 6.8192
5 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 25 7.2664
6 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 25 7.6265
7 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 25 10.6693
8 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 25 11.3700
9 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 25 11.4995
10 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 25 11.8098
11 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 25 12.4557
12 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 25 12.8792
13 93 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 25 13.2266
14 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 25 16.0758
15 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 17 Mechanical
16 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Development Mechanical

Reece Gold captures second Indy Pro 2000 race of IMS road course weekend

#55: Reece Gold, Juncos Hollinger Racing, The Ticket Clinic. Photo courtesy Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Reece Gold claimed the win in Saturday’s sixth round of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship season, emerging victorious after a great restart and a hectic initial start in the fifth of eight Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires races this weekend on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The series veteran in the No. 55 Juncos Hollinger Racing Tatuus PM-22 led 21 of the 25 laps en route to his second win of the season and third in his Indy Pro 2000 career, and 56th career Road to Indy start. Fellow Road to Indy veterans Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing) and Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing) completed the podium.

“I got my first win here, so awesome to do it again,” Gold said on the podium. “It’s one of the most amazing places to win at. Colin and Nolan were clean at the restart. But it was good clean racing with them! This is big. Some of the points contenders finished in the back. It’s a big weekend with three races, hopefully we can do it again in a couple hours!”

Friday’s first race of the weekend had some contact between teammates, a chaotic start, and the winner on the road disqualified in post-race tech. Saturday’s second Indy Pro 2000 race start was even crazier, although settled down quickly once the race restarted.

The grid for this race, set by a combination of second fastest qualifying laps and/or fast race laps from race one, was: Miller, Foster, Siegel, Gold, Porto, Sundaramoorthy, Eves, Kaminsky, Ahmed and Browne in the top 10 with Missig, Brichacek, Green, De Alba, Brewer and Finelli rounding out the field.

But within the first lap, all these things happened, and it’s easier to list them as bullet points:

  • Three cars took to the Turn 1 escape route, which appeared to be two Pabst Racing cars and one Turn 3 Motorsport car.
  • Jordan Missig retired with significant damage to the third Pabst entry, which placed the race immediately under full course caution.
  • De facto Exclusive Autosport teammates Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports, with Exclusive technical alliance) and Louis Foster collided for the second time in as many days, this time at Turn 7, when Foster pitched Miller into a spin. Foster would later be dinged with a drive-through penalty for incident responsibility and avoidable contact.
  • Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing) entered the pits with no rear wing and Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development) entered with front wing damage. Ahmed retired despite the JHR team attempting repairs to get him back out, while Eves continued.

With all that occurring, the Lap 1 order was Siegel, Kaminsky, Gold, Porto, Foster, De Alba, Sundaramoorthy, Browne, Brichacek, Green, Brewer, Finelli, Miller, Eves, Ahmed and Missig.

Every single position changed from the grid order. So that running order after Lap 1 featured starting positions of: 3rd, 8th, 4th, 5th, 2nd, 14th, 6th, 10th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 1st, 16th, 7th, 9th and 11th.

Fortunately things calmed down after the restart at the end of Lap 4.

The decisive move came after the restart as Gold, now in second, went to the outside of Siegel while Kaminsky tried to get them both on the outside of all three into Turn 1. Coming out of Turn 1, Gold took the lead with Kaminsky into second and Siegel down to third.

Those three ran in the same positions the remainder of the race while action intensified behind them, primarily in the seventh-10th range.

Miller, who’d fallen to 13th at the end of the first lap fracas, spent the rest of the race recovering and successfully made it back to fifth behind Porto at the finish.

Friday’s inherited winner De Alba had another leap forward, running and finishing sixth after starting 14th and making up a significant amount of ground on the start.

Browne and Sundaramoorthy enjoyed a race-long battle for seventh, with Green and Eves occasionally figuring before fading behind those two and Brichacek, who had a solid drive up to seventh.

Foster posted the fastest race lap as the Exclusive Autosport cars showcased their speed, but his penalty for the avoidable contact and the pit stop that followed left him in an unrepresentative 13th place at the flag behind new teammate Brewer in 12th.

The third and final race of the weekend is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET and local time on the Road to Indy TV app. After this race, Siegel provisionally leads the points with 136, while Gold is second on 118 and Foster third on 115.

Indy Pro 2000 GP of Indianapolis – Race #2 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 25 LAP 25
2 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 25 1.4833
3 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 25 2.7616
4 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 25 4.2867
5 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 25 8.0666
6 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 25 10.2206
7 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 25 11.3871
8 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 25 12.9038
9 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 25 15.1094
10 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 25 15.5567
11 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 25 16.0893
12 93 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 25 17.6726
13 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 25 32.8058
14 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 25 70.8639
15 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 6 Mechanical
16 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing Contact

De Alba Garners First Career Win After Post-Race Penalty

Change in Finishing order for Indy Pro 2000 Race #1

From Andersen Promotions:
SPEEDWAY, Ind. – Jay Howard Driver Development’s Salvador De Alba, from Guadalajara, Mexico was credited with victory in today’s Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Indianapolis Supporting INDYCAR Ministry after race winner and teammate Braden Eves’ Tatuus IP-22 failed post-race tech inspection.
The penalty moved Pabst Racing’s Yuven Sundaramoorthy, from Delafield, Wis., into second – his first podium finish of the season – and teammate Colin Kaminsky into third.

Indianapolis Redemption for Braden Eves – 10th to first to win chaotic Indy Pro 2000 Race 1 on IMS Road Course

#4: Braden Eves, Jay Howard Driver Development, CCFI, Huston Insurance, Addison Holdings. Photo: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires veteran Braden Eves kept his head on a day when many others didn’t in a chaotic first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Starting 10th in the No. 4 Jay Howard Driver Development Tatuus PM-22, Eves shot to third on the first lap as multiple drivers collided ahead of him, then moved to the lead when polesitter Jonathan Browne was called to the pit lane for a penalty after contact.

The win is Eves’ fifth in Indy Pro 2000 and 11th in his Road to Indy career, and particularly special after suffering significant injuries at this track in a severe accident in 2020. 

“I was so close to getting the win in race one last year and a late caution cost me,” Eves reflected on the podium. “This is one I really wanted to check off the box. The JHDD team gave me such an incredible car. Just the support this team, the fans have given me.

“Starting from 10th was so difficult! There was carnage in the race, but now hopefully (more) good stuff tomorrow. We’ve shown now we can do it, so let’s see how we can do it again.” 

Completing a 1-2 for JHDD was Salvador De Alba in his No. 6 car, by far his best race of this young season. The young Mexican driver started 12th and advanced to second for his first series podium. 

Yuven Sundaramoorthy continued the theme of start-to-finish improvement. The young Wisconsinite advanced from fifth to finish third in his No. 18 Pabst Racing entry, ahead of teammate Colin Kaminsky in fourth. Kaminsky flirted with the lead and a long overdue first win in his 68th career Road to Indy start. De Alba (previous best of eighth) and Sundaramoorthy (seventh) posted their first top-five finishes of the season.

Juncos Hollinger Racing teammates Reece Gold and Enaam Ahmed finished fifth and sixth. Gold’s race was one of recovery while Ahmed’s felt like a missed opportunity.

The theme of teammates either coming together or running and finishing close together was the theme of the 25-lap race on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course. 

Browne got the jump off the start to try to hold off second starting Louis Foster. Foster got a run on the exit of Turn 2, after trying to go around the outside of Browne on Turn 1. But they made contact right front to left rear, with Foster going back across the road prior to Turns 3 and 4. 

Things went from bad to worse for Exclusive Autosport from there. Jack William Miller, the Miller Vinatieri Motorsports driver now in a technical alliance with Exclusive, sought to avoid the spinning Foster as he came back across the track. But by doing so, he wound up launching over the top of Foster’s car into the gravel. Miller’s gearbox attenuator landed on top of Foster’s halo; a testament to the safety enhancements on the Tatuus PM-22 this year that both drivers emerged unscathed. Gold, who’d taken to the gravel for evasive action, fell from sixth down to 14th but was at least able to keep running.

Under caution, Browne led Kaminsky, Eves, Siegel and De Alba in the top five. Ahmed was sixth ahead of Sundaramoorthy, Porto, Green and Missig in the top 10. Kaminsky and Eves shot up from eighth and 10th on the grid to second and third in the melee, respectively. 

The restart occurred at the end of Lap 5 and Eves shot into second, with more contact occurring at Turn 1 further behind. Green had contact with another car and dropped to 14th and last. Kaminsky regained second from Eves in the same lap. 

Browne was black flagged for avoidable contact on Lap 7, and would have to serve a drive-through that would take him out of the lead. Meanwhile Eves got back by Kaminsky again in the battle for second, net lead in this case.

On Lap 8 Eves now led from Kaminsky, Siegel, De Alba and Ahmed in the top five. Porto ran sixth ahead of the recovering Gold, now back to seventh, with Sundaramoorthy, Missing and Brewer in the top 10. Browne and Brichacek pitted this lap.

On Lap 11 the lead changed with Kaminsky moving to the point ahead of Eves. But that didn’t last long as Kaminsky overcooked his braking point into Turn 1 on Lap 12. He fell to sixth.

Eves returned to the lead on Lap 12 ahead of De Alba, now second, with Siegel third, Ahmed fourth and Porto fifth. 

More positions changed on Lap 14, Ahmed briefly moving up to third ahead of Porto and Siegel with Sundaramoorthy, Kaminsky, Missig and Gold all covered by a blanket down to ninth. 

The chaos continued with Siegel and Porto colliding exiting Turn 7, a pair of DEForce Racing drivers coming together while trying to shoot for the apex in the next corner. De Alba and Ahmed nearly collided at Turn 1 on the next lap battling for second.

With 10 laps to go on Lap 15, the new order was Eves, De Alba, Ahmed, Sundaramoorthy, Kaminsky, Missig, Gold, Porto, Brewer and Finelli in the top 10. 

On Lap 20 with 5 to go, Sundaramoorthy got by Ahmed for third, and a lap later Kaminsky followed his Pabst Racing teammate through for fourth. Ahmed blew his braking point into Turn 1 on Lap 23, and cost himself fifth place. Gold jumped ahead of him to get back to fifth. 

There were no further changes to the running order by the checkered flag.

Indy Pro 2000 GP of Indianapolis – Race #1 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 25 LAP 25
2 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 25 5.5113
3 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 25 5.5997
4 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 25 6.2185
5 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 25 6.5466
6 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 25 8.4788
7 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 25 10.0183
8 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 25 11.0322
9 93 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 25 12.5665
10 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 25 31.6334
11 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 25 33.3500
12 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 25 39.7713
13 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 25 60.1862
14 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 21 4 LAPS
15 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport Contact
16 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports Contact

Jonathan Browne snatches surprise Indy Pro 2000 pole at IMS Road Course

#2: Jonathan Browne , Turn 3 Motorsport, Human Centred Movement, CRPS Awareness. Photo: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Tony DiZinno

Heading into the third weekend of the 2022 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, just 24 points cover the top six drivers. Nolan Siegel leads Louis Foster by five (96-91), with Braden Eves third (83) ahead of Reece Gold, Enaam Ahmed and Josh Green. 

These six drivers represent five different teams, with Siegel leading DEForce, Foster running with Exclusive Autosport, Eves with Jay Howard Driver Development, Gold and Ahmed teammates at Juncos Hollinger Racing and Green with Turn 3 Motorsport. With three races ahead on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, this weekend has the potential to jumble that order. 

The 15 drivers that competed at Barber Motorsports Park continue at the IMS road course, joined by a 16th car as Exclusive Autosport adds an entry for Lindsay Brewer in her series debut. Jack William Miller’s Miller Vinatieri Motorsports program has also entered into a technical alliance with Exclusive Autosport, which should only help enhance Miller’s further growth and development. 

Gold led the only official practice session on Thursday ahead of Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing) and Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing).

Halfway through the 20-minute session, Foster and Miller were the top two and only ones in the 1:21 bracket with Siegel third, Sundaramoorthy fourth and Gold fifth. Only 1.1 seconds covered the top 15 drivers.

Siegel and Sundaramoorthy shot ahead of Miller for second and third, while Foster’s 1:21.695 looked unbeatable for the rest of the session.

That was until Jonathan Browne uncorked a 1:21.677 lap for Peter Dempsey’s Turn 3 Motorsport which beat Foster by just 0.017 of a second for a surprise pole position. The Irishman had not started better than 11th in four races this year in the No. 2 Tatuus PM-22. 

The polesitter has won 11 of 19 total Indy Pro 2000/Pro Mazda races at the IMS road course, although last year the three races were won from third, ninth and third on the grid.

Foster has been on the podium three times in four races to start the year, he hadn’t qualified better than fourth until this race. He’ll start second. Siegel, Miller and Sundaramoorthy complete the top five on the grid.

Gold, Porto, Kaminsky, Ahmed and Eves round out the top 10. But those 10 drivers were only separate by 0.4905 of a second. 

The first of three Indy Pro 2000 races this weekend goes green at 2:45 p.m. ET and local time, with coverage via the Road to Indy TV App.

Indy Pro 2000 GP of Indianapolis – Qualifying Results

P No Name Team FTime Diff
1 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 1:21.6771 1:21.6771
2 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 1:21.6946 0.0175
3 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 1:21.7445 0.0674
4 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1:21.7837 0.1066
5 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 1:21.7990 0.1219
6 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:21.8401 0.1630
7 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1:21.9145 0.2374
8 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:22.0823 0.4052
9 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:22.1373 0.4602
10 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 1:22.1676 0.4905
11 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1:22.3421 0.6650
12 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 1:22.3543 0.6772
13 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 1:22.4076 0.7305
14 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 1:22.4109 0.7338
15 93 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 1:22.8089 1.1318
16 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 1:25.0726 3.3955

Siegel goes wire-to-wire in Indy Pro 2000 at Barber Motorsports Park

#8: DEForce Racing, Towne Ford, Race for RP, Nolan Siegel
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama – Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

The start of the 30-lap Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #2 was slightly delayed as many NTT INDYCAR SERIES competitors ran out of fuel on the final lap. Officials also wanted to spend some more time cleaning the track of marbles and other debris.

Pato O’Ward, a veteran of two seasons of Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, won the just completed NTT INDYCAR SERIES race.

The call to fire the engines came at 2:32 pm.

The front row made up of rookie pole-sitter Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing) and veteran Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), brought the 15 cars to the green flag.

Siegel got a good jump, with Eves falling behind the pole-sitter, catching a moment of oversteer as he entered the Alabama Roller Coaster. He was able to save it, but that allowed Ahmed to close up in Turn 5. The pair made contact, allowing Foster to continue his hot to the race.

Race control reviewed the incident and decided that no action was necessary.

Foster, who started sixth, grabbed the position from Ahmed during his scuffle with Eves, completing an impressive first six corners up three spots.

The running order after the first lap was Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Reece Gold (Juncos Hollinger Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Salvador de Alba (Jay Howard Driver Development), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport), Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing) and Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!).

On Lap 3, Green got around Pabst Racing rookie Missig for sixth.

Missig settled in after his hot start, but on Lap 6, he spun in Turn 8, dropping to 14th.

After ten laps, Siegel’s lead over Eves was only 0.6 seconds over Eves, with Foster, Ahmed, Gold, Green, Porto, De Alba, Browne, Miller, and Missig rounding out the top ten.

While Seigel’s lead over Eves was a ‘comfortable’ four or five car lengths, Eves was facing immense pressure from Foster, who took a look around the outside of Turn 5 on Lap 13. However, the Jay Howard Driver Development No. 4 was able to keep the No. 90 Exclusive Autosport machine behind him.

Siegel’s lead over Eves when the field was shown the crossed flags at the race’s halfway point was 1.3 seconds. The rest of the running order was Foster, Ahmed, Gold, Green, Porto, de Alba, Browne, Miller, Sundaramoorthy, Brichacek, Kaminsky, Missig, and Finelli.

On Lap 16, Foster once again took a look around the outside of Eves in Charlotte’s Web again, and once again, the veteran was able to hold off Foster.

With ten laps remaining, Siegel’s lead was 1.6 seconds.

Foster turned the quickest lap of the race on the next lap, keeping the gap to Eves under a half-second. Surprisingly, at the same time as he was defending effectively against Foster, Eves was eating into the gap to Siegel.

With six laps remaining, Eves and Foster were two-tenths of a second quicker than Siegel. Behind the podium runners, Ahmed was going the same speed as Eves and Foster.

On Lap 24 and 25, Foster looked to the inside of Eves before thinking better of it and dropping in behind Eves.

With three laps to go, the lead was under one second for the first time since early in the race. The lead fell to 0.8 seconds with two laps to go and only 0.7 seconds at the white flag.

Foster lowered his quickest lap time on Lap 29, putting pressure on Eves, and finishing only 1.1 seconds out of first place.

Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #2 Results

RANK CAR. NO. DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing LAP 30
2 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 0.7522
3 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 1.1829
4 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 6.2271
5 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 8.4850
6 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 10.1798
7 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 10.7470
8 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 11.1013
9 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 19.6183
10 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 20.6132
11 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 21.2938
12 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 21.9697
13 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 27.5333
14 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 37.0510
15 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing -1 LAPS

DEForce Racing’s Siegel grabs second pole of Indy Pro 2000 season

#8: DEForce Racing, Towne Ford, Race for RP, Nolan Siegel
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama – Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

For the second time in his four-race old Indy Pro 2000 and the fourth time in his Road To Indy career, DEForce Racing’s Nolan Siegel will start from the pole.

Starting from the inside of the front row on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course is nothing new for the 17-year-old from Palo Alto, Calif. He started from the pole in the second USF2000 race last year.

It’s the first pole for the Texas-based team at Barber Motorsports Park and their fifth Indy Pro 2000 pole overall.

On his 11th of 13 laps, Siegel turned a circuit at 87.8455 seconds. That was good enough, but barely. Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), a pole sitter at this track last year, missed another pole by six thousandths of a second.

Race #1 podium driver Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Hollinger Racing) was only a half-second off the pole and will start inside the second row.

Race #1 winner, Juncos Hollinger Racing veteran Reece Gold will start on the outside of his teammate.

The top nine positions also included reigning Cooper Tires USF2000 Champion Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), and Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), were all within a half-second of Siegel.

The final session of a Saturday of on-track activity at Barber Motorsports Park was the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires’ second qualifying session of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama weekend.

The green flag for the 20-minute session came out at 6:05 pm.

The skies over the always gorgeous 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course were cloudy, but the rain held off after a few drops earlier. The ambient temperature was a comfortable 76F.

All 15 drivers were on track early, with Race #1 pole-sitter and race winner Reece Gold having the quickest lap.

After seven minutes, Fatboy Racing! veteran Charles Finelli went off track in Turn 16, but he could continue.

Right before the halfway point of qualifying, the drivers were all on pit road for adjustment and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.

Gold, with a lap of 88.4047 seconds, was the quickest driver and was followed in the top ten by Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Enaam Ahmed (Juncos Racing), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsport) and Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport).

The first drivers to go quicker in the second half of the session were Pabst Racing rookies Yuven Sundaramoorthy and Jordan Missig.

Sundaramoorthy continued to go quicker, jumping to second on the timing screens with four minutes left in qualifying. His lap was only one-hundredth of a second slower than Gold.

In the final three minutes, Foster, Eves, Kaminsky, and finally Siegel held the provisional pole.

Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #2 unofficial qualifying results

RANK CAR. NO. DRIVER TEAM FAST LAP DIFFERENCE
1 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 1:17.8455 ——
2 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 1:17.8524 -0.0069
3 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:17.9006 -0.0551
4 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:17.9544 -0.1089
5 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1:18.0352 -0.1897
6 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 1:18.0921 -0.2466
7 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:18.1324 -0.2869
8 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 1:18.2023 -0.3568
9 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1:18.3279 -0.4824
10 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1:18.3636 -0.5181
11 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 1:18.4239 -0.5784
12 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 1:18.5737 -0.7282
13 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 1:18.9748 -1.1293
14 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 1:19.1750 -1.3295
15 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 1:21.9247 -4.0792

The second race of the weekend rolls off at 2:30 pm on Sunday. So it’s the last on-track activity of the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

Gold goes wire-to-wire to get back in Indy Pro 2000 title fight

#55: Juncos Hollinger Racing, The Ticket Clinic, Reece Gold
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

After the call to fire the 15 Elite Engine prepared 250 horsepower 2.0L engines, the field was afforded one lap of the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course to get their Cooper Tires ready to race.

Gold brought an Indy Pro 2000 field to the green flag for the sixth time.

Gold was the first driver to get to the fast left-hand Turn 1, but behind him, the field was two-wide and even three-wide in Charlotte’s Web.

The running order after the first lap was Gold, Kaminsky, Ahmed, Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Nolan Siegel (DEForce Racing), Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Pabst Racing), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing), Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport), Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), Salvador de Alba (Jay Howard Driver Development), Charles Finelli (Fatboy Racing!) and Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports).

Before the start, Miller came to pit road for repairs by the Miller Vinatieri Motorsports crew. They worked quickly, and the second-generation driver didn’t lose a lap.

On the second lap, Yuven Sundaramoorthy gained his second spot of the race, moving around Siegel for seventh.

On Lap 4, de Alba came to the attention of the Jay Howard Driver Development crew and, unfortunately, was not able to continue.

After five of 25 laps, Gold’s lead over Kaminsky was 1.2 seconds. Behind the leader, Kaminsky, Ahmed, Eves, Foster, and Green were all covered by only one second.

Pole driver Gold was consistently turning laps two-tenths of a second quicker than the second-place driver, building a two-second lead.

The rest of the top ten was Ahmed, Eves, Foster, Green, Sundaramoorthy, Siegel, Porto, and Missig.

On Lap 11, Gold turned the quickest lap of the race, increasing his lead to 2.2 seconds.

The battle for second through sixth was still close, with a little over two seconds covering the four drivers.

On the Lap 13, St. Petersburg race winner Green got around Foster for fifth.

At the front of the field, Gold was getting quicker and was the only driver turning laps under 79 seconds, building a 4.2-second lead over Kaminsky’s No. 27 with seven laps remaining.

Kaminsky faced pressure from behind, with Ahmed turning his quickest race lap.

It wasn’t just Ahmed, though, pressuring the Pabst Racing veteran. Eves, Green, and Foster were within two seconds.

On Lap 19, Foster could get back around Green in Turn 5 for the fifth spot.

On Lap 19, Siegel turned the quickest lap of the race, starting to pressure Green and Foster, the two drivers he is chasing in the championship.

On Lap 21, the battling between Foster, Eves, Green, and Siegel was fierce, with Foster moving into fourth.

The Exclusive Autosport rookie quickly took after the final spot on the podium, putting pressure on Ahmed and pressuring him into a lock-up in the braking zone in Turn 5.

Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Race #1 unofficial results

RANK CAR. NO. DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 25 LAPS
2 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing -4.8884
3 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing -5.3197
4 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport -5.7561
5 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development -8.5971
6 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport -9.6747
7 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing -10.0283
8 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing -10.4142
9 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing -20.0091
10 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport -20.8589
11 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development -21.8947
12 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing -27.0346
13 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports -77.4471
14 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing -1 LAP
15 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment – 6 LAPS

Gold grabs sixth career Indy Pro 2000 – top eight are tight

#55: Juncos Hollinger Racing, The Ticket Clinic, Reece Gold
Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama Photo credit: Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy

By Steve Wittich

After a disappointing start to the season at the season-opening event in St. Petersburg, Juncos Hollinger Racing sophomore Reece Gold rebounded with his sixth career Indy Pro 2000 pole.

The 17-year-old turned a lap of 77.334 seconds, almost two-tenths of a second quicker than Pabst Racing veteran Colin Kaminsky.

The front four rows were tight, with the top eight within four-tenths-of-second of pole winner Gold.

Gold joins Martin Scuncio and Spencer Pigot as Barber Motorsports Park pole-winners for Juncos Hollinger Racing. It’s the Speedway, Ind.-based team’s 60th Indy Pro 2000 pole.

The first of two Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying sessions went green at 11:15 am, the skies were cloudless, and the temperature was a comfortable 73F.

With a short session to win the pole, getting the most out of every lap was paramount to starting in the optimal spot on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain road course that is notoriously tough to pass on.

During the session, the first driver to have an issue was the No. 6 Jay Howard Driver Development IP-22 of Salvador de Alba in Turn 17.

Not surprisingly, the Juncos Hollinger Racing duo of Reece Gold and Enaam Ahmed, who dominated testing and practice, quickly went to the top of the timing screens.

At the halfway point of the session, the provisional pole sitter was Gold, whose best lap was 77.6029 seconds. Louis Foster (Exclusive Autosport), Ahmed, Josh Green (Turn 3 Motorsport), Braden Eves (Jay Howard Driver Development), Nolan Siegel (Jay Howard Driver Development), Kiko Porto (DEForce Racing), Jonathan Browne (Turn 3 Motorsport), Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports) and Colin Kaminsky (Pabst Racing).

Soon after, most of the field came to pit road for adjustments and fresh.

The first drivers to improve were Porto and Siegel, but the rest of the timing screen was lighting up with green as times continued to improve.

The final three minutes saw copious changes as Foster, Kaminsky, Ahmed, and finally Gold went to the provisional pole.

Gold grabbed the provisional pole with one minute remaining, just before the Banco Daycoval/Petromega sponsored No. 1 of reigning USF2000 champion ended up in the gravel in the Turn 9 Museum corner.

The track went red and checkered with only 30 seconds left in qualifying.

Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama unofficial qualifying results

RANK CAR. NO. DRIVER TEAM FAST LAP DIFFERENCE
1 55 Reece Gold Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:17.3343 ——
2 27 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:17.5000 0.1657
3 47 Enaam Ahmed Juncos Hollinger Racing 1:17.5414 0.2071
4 4 Braden Eves Jay Howard Driver Development 1:17.5540 0.2197
5 90 Louis Foster Exclusive Autosport 1:17.5685 0.2342
6 3 Josh Green Turn 3 Motorsport 1:17.6168 0.2825
7 8 Nolan Siegel DEForce Racing 1:17.6529 0.3186
8 1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1:17.7091 0.3748
9 18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 1:18.1507 0.8164
10 19 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1:18.2008 0.8665
11 2 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 1:18.2040 0.8697
12 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1:18.2169 0.8826
13 6 Salvador De Alba Jay Howard Driver Develpment 1:18.3757 1.0414
14 5 Wyatt Brichacek Jay Howard Driver Development 1:18.4968 1.1625
15 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 1:20.8208 3.4865

That’s it for the middle rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires for the day. The Indy Pro 2000 drivers will take part in an autograph session tomorrow at 11:30 am, and the green for their first of two races is set for 1:30 pm.

Mac Clark and DEForce Racing win inaugural USF Juniors race, Velocity Racing Development youngster on podium

Mac Clark in the MIR Raceline USA/Sekanskin/Valkyrie AI sponsored No. 17 from the DEForce Racing stable dominated the first ever USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires race at Ozarks International Raceway (Photo Courtesy of Jose Mario Dias/USF Juniors)

By Steve Wittich

The domination of Mac Clark and DEForce Racing continued in a historic inaugural USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires race. The Canadian driver who led testing, practice, and qualifying built a massive lead in the first of three Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of The Ozarks races.

“It was tricky,” said Clark to Rob Howden about the first lap. “We managed to open up a good gap, and after that, it was all about tire conservation and making sure we brought the car home with four wheels.

“I want to thank DEForce Racing for the mega fast car and putting this program together. ”

The recently turned 18-year-old joins Konrad Czaczyk (F4 United States Championship), Kyle Kirkwood (Formula Regional Americas Championship), Alan Lader (Formula Atlantic), Steve Miller (Indy Lights), Vince Puleo (USF2000), Brian Till (Barber Saab Pro), and Andreas Wirth (Formula BMW) on the list of drivers winning the first race of a North American junior open-wheel series.

The trip to victory lane is not Clark’s first of 2022. First, he drove to a win at NOLA Motorsports Park in the Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered By Honda.

The Houston, Texas area DEForce Racing, led by David and Ernesto Martinez, has now won races in F4 United States Championship Powered By Honda, USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires, Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Indy Pro 2000.

A pair of young Velocity Racing Development teammates – Nikita Johnson and Sam Corry – waged a close battle for the final two podium spots.

Johnson, still an eighth-grader and the youngest driver in the field at 13-years-old demonstrated race craft beyond his years, moving from his sixth starting spot to the second step on the inaugural USF Juniors podium.

Like his teammate, Corry, a 14-year-old, ended in his first official race in cars on the podium.

“It was a great race,” said a happy resident of
Cornelius, N.C. “I kept my nose clean the whole time. Nikita drove a great race there, getting me at the end. I wish we could have gone back to green. It was a great race.”

The first lap in the history of USF Juniors was a clean one, with the young drivers getting cleanly through the 19 turns.

After the first lap of action of the 3.97-mile, 19-turn road course, Mac Clark with a 1.2-second lead over Sam Corry; the rest of the running order after the first lap was Andre Castro, Nikita Johnson, Jake Bonilla, Jeremy Fairburn, Alessandro De Tullio, Titus Sherlock, Alan Isambard, Earl W. Tucker, IV, Noah Ping, Elliot Cox, Jacob Bolen, Bianca Bustamante, and Ethan Ho.

Unfortunately, the teams for Nicholas d’Orlando (DC Autosport w/ Cape Motorsports) and Maxwell Jamieson (DEForce Racing) could not get their cars repaired after incidents in qualifying.

Sherlock got four wheels off on the second lap, dropping from eight to 11th.

On Lap 3, Fairburn and De Tullio could get around Bonilla to move up to the fifth and sixth spot.

Johnson grabbed the final spot on the podium, making a pass on Castro after the International Motorsport driver made a mistake.

Clark’s substantial lead at the halfway point of the 12-lap race was a significant 6.9 seconds over Corry.

The rest of the running order was Johnson, Castro, Fairbairn, De Tullio, Bonilla, Isambard, Cox, Ping, Sherlock, Tucker, Ho, Bolen, and Bustamante.

Clark had a significant lead out front, but there were some good battles on track. De Tullio was on the gearbox of Fairburn, and Sherlock was less than half a second of Ping for the tenth.

Clark had settled in out front, building an 8.1 second lead with four laps remaining. Behind him, the young Velocity Racing Development duo of Cory and Johnson were with a half-second for second place.

On Lap 9, Cory dropped two wheels into the dirt, allowing Johnson a better run of the corner and the chance to get past his teammate.

“I was really consistent,” said Johnson to Rob Howden after the race. “Once I got up to him, I made sure I wasn’t hitting him in the braking zones. I was just trying to time the perfect moment for the draft and pass. I think it was really great racing, and we both drove clean. It was really fun!”

While those two were battling, allowing Castor and Fairburn to enter the fight for the podium. Isambard moved to seventh on that same lap, and Bustamante got around Bolen for 14th.

Just before Clark began Lap 11, the yellow flag came out, erasing a 14.4-second lead and ending what was shaping up to be an entertaining battle for the final two spots on the podium.

The cause of the yellow was the Indian Creek CBD sponsored No. 25 of Jacob Bolen.

The remaining two laps were run under the yellow flag, locking Clark, Johnson, and Corry onto the podium.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix Of The Ozarks Unofficial Race #1 Results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM DIFFERENCE
1 17 Mac Clark DEForce Racing 12 LAPS
2 7 Nikita Johnson Velocity Racing Development -0.635
3 14 Sam Corry Velocity Racing Development -1.054
4 23 Andre Castro International Motorsport -2.003
5 87 Jeremy Fairbairn Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports -2.492
6 20 Alessandro De Tullio Velocity Racing Development -3.282
7 53 Alan Isambard International Motorsport -3.892
8 19 Jake Bonilla DEForce Racing -4.719
9 67 Elliot Cox Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing Development -5.849
10 55 Noah Ping Velocity Racing Development -6.596
11 31 Titus Sherlock Crosslink Kiwi Motorsports -7.009
12 71 Ethan Ho DC Autosport w/Cape Motorsports -7.957
13 24 Earl Tucker DC Autosport w/Cape Motorsports -8.484
14 9 Bianca Bustamante IGY6 Motorsports -9.011
15 25 Jacob Bolen IGY6 Motorsports -3 LAPS
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