Archives for Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – TSO News

DEForce Racing veteran Parker Thompson leads a pair of Juncos Racing drivers in Indy Pro 2000 testing

Parker Thompson, who has finished in the top three of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires championship the past two seasons, led both sessions of testing for the middle rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires ladder. The DEForce Racing veteran was the only driver to break the 79-second barrier, turning in the quickest lap of 78.984 seconds.

Parker Thompson on track in his No. 9 DEForce Racing PM-18 during Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires spring training at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Thompson led a pair of Juncos Racing veterans in Artem Petrov and Sting Ray Robb, who along with Toby Sowery (Turn 3 Motorsport) and Manuel Sulaiman (DEForce Racing) rounded out the top five on the combined timesheet. That group was covered by less than half-a-second.

The top nine drivers were all within one second of Thompson at the top of the timesheet.

Juncos Racing rookie Nate Aranda was the busiest driver, completing 51 laps of the 2.21-mile, 14-turn Homestead-Miami Speedway roval.

Session #1

A pair of veterans led the way during the first official Indy Pro 2000 test session of the 2020 season. Parker Thompson’s lap of 79.658 seconds in the DEForce Racing/Tundra Process Solutions/Nossack Food Group sponsored No.9 DEForce Racing PM-18, was only five-hundredths of a second quicker than Juncos Racing’s Sting Ray Robb.

Thompson was joined in the top five by his teammate Manuel Sulaiman, who had the third quickest time. Robb’s teammate, Artem Petrov, turned in the fourth-fastest lap in the 60-minute session.

Reigning USF2000 champion Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport) rounded out the top five despite only turning five laps due to an issue with his 2.0L power plant.

Juncos Racing rookie Nate Aranda was the busiest driver, turning 27 laps of the 2.21-mile, 14-turn Homestead-Miami Speedway roval. The 15 drivers were able to complete a total of 315 circuits.

Session #2

Once again, it was veteran Thompson that led the way during the second and final Indy Pro 2000 session of the day. The Canadian only turned 11-laps, with his quickest lap clocking in at almost two-tenths ahead of Juncos Racing sophomore Artem Petrov. Only one-hundredth of a second behind the Russian driver was his teammate Robb.

Rounding out the top five were Toby Sowery, who is helping Turn 3 Motorsports sort out a second car, and Thompson’s DEForce Racing teammate and rookie Sulaiman.

Unfortunately, Eves was not able to get back on track after having an issue with his power plant in the first session. The top nine drivers were covered by one second.

The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Championship series is back on track tomorrow (Sunday) for a trio of 45-minute sessions.

Sting Ray Robb wheels the No. 2 Juncos Racing PM-18 around the Homestead-Miami Speedway roval during Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires spring training (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Championship testing – combined timesheet.

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM QUICK LAP BACK TOTAL LAPS
1 9 Parker Thompson DEForce Racing 1:18.984 –.—- 32
2 42 Artem Petrov Juncos Racing 1:19.170 0.1864 39
3 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:19.177 0.1932 38
4 30 Toby Sowery Turn 3 Motorsport 1:19.216 0.2320 42
5 8 Manuel Sulaiman DEForce Racing 1:19.475 0.4910 31
6 5 Phillippe Denes RP Motorsport USA 1:19.760 0.7759 38
7 18 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 1:19.861 0.8772 42
8 19 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 1:20.004 1.0196 41
9 4 Lucas Peterson RP Motorsport USA 1:20.021 1.0368 43
10 1 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport 1:20.132 1.1483 5
11 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:20.673 1.6892 33
12 37 Sabre Cook Team Benik 1:20.683 1.6991 14
13 69 Nate Aranda Juncos Racing 1:20.796 1.8117 51
14 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:20.916 1.9322 42
15 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:20.949 1.9648 18
16 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 1:24.100 5.1157 44

Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires at Laguna Seca – Sting Ray Robb grabs pole for the 2nd time in three races

By Steve Wittich

For the second time in three races, Juncos Racing veteran Sting Ray Robb will start an Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires race from pole. Tomorrow’s race will be the fourth time that a Juncos Racing driver will start on the pole in an Indy Pro 2000 race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Robb joins Garrett Grist, Conor Daly, and Peter Dempsey as Juncos Racing drivers to grab pole at the iconic road course.

The primary championship contenders, Kyle Kirkwood, and Rasmus Lindh traded the outside front row starting spot several times in the last five minutes of the session. Kirkwood ended up with the quicker lap by only one-hundredth of a second.

Lindh will start behind his teammate beside Abel Motorsports veteran Parker Thompson.

The red flag came out only 90 seconds into the session for Charles Finelli, who had an incident in Turn 3.

Only Lindh, Robb and Petrov were able to put a time on the board before the drivers were forced back to pit road.

The green flag came back out with 13 of the 20 minutes remaining.

With seven minutes remaining Robb was the provisional pole sitter with a lap of 80.556 seconds. The veteran Juncos Racing driver was followed by teammate Lindh, Petrov, Frost, and Kirkwood.

Robb continued to lower the provisional pole, while Lindh and Kirkwood traded the outside front row.

Thompson, who led the lone practice session, was forced to sit out the first five minutes of green flag time as punishment for blowing the checkered flag during the first practice session. The Canadian was only able to turn six laps during the session and will start fourth.

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Race #2

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:20.165 –.—-
2 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 1:20.446 0.2807
3 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 1:20.451 0.2862
4 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 1:20.879 0.7138
5 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:21.078 0.9124
6 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 1:21.162 0.9969
7 91 Phillippe Denes Exclusive Autosport 1:21.219 1.0536
8 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 1:21.233 1.0680
9 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:21.362 1.1972
10 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 1:21.536 1.3704
11 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:22.039 1.8740
12 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 1:22.128 1.9629
13 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 1:22.547 2.3814
14 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:22.714 2.5491
15 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing No Time

The first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend rolls off at 4:10 pm on Saturday.

Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires at Laguna Seca – Friday – Indy Pro 2000 practice

The fifteen Indy Pro 2000 drivers followed the first NTT IndyCar Series practice that had three rookie drivers lead the timesheet.

The sun was shining brightly, and the temperature was in the lower 70s when the session began at 11:30 am.

Sting Ray Robb, Parker Thompson, Kory Enders, and Kyle Kirkwood all spent time at the top of the timing screens in the first half of the session.

Just before the halfway point of the session, the majority of the field was on pit road for adjustments and fresh tires.

At the halfway point of the session, a lap of 81.919 seconds by Enders led the way. Thompson and Kirkwood were both within one-hundredth of Enders. Robb, Lindh, de la Vara, Frost, Petrov, Abel, and Lastochkin made up the rest of the top ten.

With ten minutes remaining, the drivers started to get there Cooper Tires up to optimal operating temperature and started to go quicker.

With eight minutes remaining, championship leader, Kirkwood supplanted Enders at the top of the timing screen. The RP Motorsport rookie wasn’t there for long before Parker Thompson went quicker.

The track remained busy, for the final five minutes, but nobody could get close to Thompson at the top of the timesheet.

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Practice #1 Results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM QUICK LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 1:21.522 –.—- 15
2 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 1:21.679 0.1566 17
3 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:21.919 0.3966 16
4 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:21.988 0.4658 18
5 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 1:21.998 0.4763 16
6 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:22.301 0.7790 16
7 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 1:22.363 0.8413 18
8 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 1:22.399 0.8769 18
9 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:22.542 1.0203 18
10 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 1:22.677 1.1545 19
11 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 1:23.083 1.5612 19
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 1:23.175 1.6534 17
13 91 Phillippe Denes FatBoy Racing 1:23.640 2.1181 14
14 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:23.740 2.2177 17
15 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 1:27.781 6.2588 19

The middle rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is back on track at for qualifying at 5:15 pm.

Race Weekend Basics

Race #1: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products
Race #2: Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products

Race #1 green flag time: Saturday, September 21 at 3:10pm
Race #2 green flag time: Sunday, September 22 at 9:10am 

Race #1 distance: 30 laps or 45 minutes
Race #2 distance: 35 laps or 60 minutes

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca qualifying track record: 74.2329 seconds by Max Chilton (Carlin) in 2015
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca race track records: 76.1633 by by Max Chilton (Carlin) in 2015

  • Each entry can utilize four new sets of Cooper Tire slicks as well as one set of used/scuffed tires from the race at Portland International Raceway
  • The timing line is located at Turn 10
  • Drivers failing to slow at least 15% in a timing sector with a local yellow will be subject to a two-place grid spot penalty
  • Drivers who fail to heed the checkered flag at the end of a session will receive a two-grid spot penalty
  • Causing one red flag will result in a driver losing their fastest lap
  • Causing a second red flag will wipe out all of drivers laps, and they will be parked for the remainder of the session
  • Driver points are distributed as follows: 30 – 25 – 22 – 19 – 17 – 15 -14 – 13 – 12 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – an additional one point will be awarded to the pole sitter and to the driver who leads the most laps.

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

Road to Indy at Grand Prix of Portland – Sunday – 4 p.m. – Another Kirkwood romp in Indy Pro 2000

Sunday’s Indy Pro 2000 race marked yet another Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires event dominated from start to finish by Kyle Kirkwood.

The young American driver won his sixth consecutive race and eighth in the last nine to extend his points lead. He led flag-to-flag in the 30-lap race from pole position in his No. 28 RP Motorsport Racing USA Tatuus PM-18.

Juncos Racing teammates Sting Ray Robb and Rasmus Lindh completed the podium in the Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Portland Grand Prix.

The Rob “Velvet Fog” Howden gave an enthusiastic call to start the 13 Indy Pro 2000 car race at 3:07pm.

After one pace lap, the front row of Kirkwood and Robb brought the field to the green flag.

Kirkwood got a great start, with the drivers going four-wide behind him. Unlike yesterday, all 13-drivers were able get cleanly through the Festival Curves.

The running order at the end of the first of 30 laps was: Kirkwood, Robb, Thompson, Lindh, Frost, Petrov, Serravalle, Abel, Lastochkin, de la Vera, Round Garrido, Comeau, and Enders.

On Lap 2, Lindh was able to regain third spot, getting by Parker Thompson in Turn 1.

By Lap 5, Kirkwood’s lead over Robb was 2.2 seconds. Lindh was 1.4 seconds further adrift of his Juncos Racing teammate. The top seven were running in the same positions that they started in.

On Lap 6, Thompson was starting to put pressure back on Lindh, and was being pressured by Exclusive Autosport rookie Frost.

Eighth place Jacob Abel had Lastochkin, Round-Garrido, Enders and de la Vara within three seconds of his No. 51 car.

On Lap 9 Robb turned the quickest lap of the race to that point, but the gap was still 2 seconds.

At the 10 lap mark, the top five were: Kirkwood, Robb, Lindh, Thompson and Frost.

Kirkwood, on Lap 12, was the first driver to turn a sub 68 second lap and his lead had grown to a comfortable 3 seconds. On that same lap, Enders was able to move into the top ten.

Newcomer Petrov got by Frost on Lap 13, making an impressive pass going into Turn 10, moving the RP Motorsport driver to the fifth spot.

At the halfway point of the race, Kirkwood’s lead over Robb has grown to 4.3 seconds.

With ten laps remaining, the gap between Kirkwood, Robb and Lindh was safe. However, Lindh was facing enormous pressure from Abel Motorsports’ Thompson for the final spot on the podium.

Behind them, Petrov was turning quicker and quicker laps and with seven laps remaining was less than a second behind Thompson.

With five laps remaining, Lindh locked up the brakes going in Turn 1, allowing Thompson to get under his gearbox.

Lindh continued to hold Thompson and Petrov at bay as the field head into the final two laps, with Kirkwood and Robb still clear at the head of the field.

Kirkwood took the white flag more than seven seconds clear of Robb. The battle for third stabilized without anyone able to make a move.

The American took the checkered flag at the end of Lap 30 by 7.5856 seconds over Robb. Lindh, Thompson and Petrov rounded out the top five.

Kirkwood now holds a 20-point lead (382-362) over Lindh with just the two races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca remaining on the schedule.

Twenty points also covers the battle for third place with Thompson at 300 points, Frost at 294 and Robb now at 280.

After the race, Lastochkin’s was stopped on course with its right rear tire and suspension bent askew. The other 12 cars returned to the paddock following the checkered flag.

Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Portland Grand Prix – Race #2 Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 30
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 30 7.5856
3 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 30 13.9365
4 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 30 14.3556
5 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 30 15.3555
6 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 30 17.0412
7 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 30 24.8983
8 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 30 35.3750
9 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 30 35.9538
10 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 30 36.0720
11 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 30 49.6021
12 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 30 51.3541
13 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 30 52.2559

Road To Indy at Grand Prix of Portland – Saturday – 6:05 p.m. – Kirkwood’s latest win propels him to Indy Pro 2000 points lead

It says something about Kyle Kirkwood’s hot streak in Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires that winning “only” five races in a row and seven of eight could be viewed as secondary to his 2018 achievements. Last year in Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship competition, Kirkwood won 11 in a row and 12 total including the last two races at Portland International Raceway.

Nonetheless, Kirkwood’s latest triumph for RP Motorsport Racing today in Portland moved the American into the points lead for the first time this season as he seeks another advancement scholarship into Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires for 2020.

With Kirkwood’s 19th win in 27 career Road to Indy starts, and with Rasmus Lindh suffering his worst finish of the season, Kirkwood provisionally holds a nine-point lead after today’s race.

The track remained hot as the 13 Indy Pro 2000 runners took to the track just after 5:15 p.m. PDT and local time to fire up their 2.0L Elite Engines.

With Sting Ray Robb on pole ahead of the RP Motorsport Racing pair of Kyle Kirkwood and Artem Petrov, it was a slightly jumbled grid up front. Robb’s Juncos Racing teammate Rasmus Lindh would start only seventh.

Robb got the brief jump over Kirkwood on the start into Turn 1, but before the race really got going there was an eight-car incident at the corner.

The field fanned out six to seven wide on entry, with Petrov knocking Robb into a spin at the Festival Curves and setting off a chain reaction by those drivers behind them. Kirkwood darted to the inside and got ahead of the mess that would occur momentarily.

Among those off course either involved or by taking evasive action included Parker Thompson, Antonio Serravalle, Robb, Antoine Comeau, both DEForce cars of Moises de la Vara and Kory Enders, and then series debutante Matt Round-Garrido.

The running order after the chaotic first lap was Kirkwood, Danial Frost, Lindh, Serravalle, Abel, Lastochkin, Thompson, Robb, de la Vara, Round-Garrido, Petrov, Enders and Comeau.

By Lap 5 the order was Kirkwood leading Frost by just over one second, with Lindh up to third ahead of Serravalle and Abel.

Behind them, Thompson, Lastochkin, Robb, de la Vara, Petrov, Enders, Comeau and Round-Garrido completed the running order.

Meanwhile Petrov was assessed a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact, and served it on Lap 6.

On Lap 9, Serravalle got around Lindh for third and Abel was closing on Lindh into Turn 1.

The order a third of the way through the race on Lap 10 was Kirkwood leading Frost by 2.8611 seconds, with Serravalle third just over eight seconds in arrears. Lindh continued to hold back Abel. Robb’s hopes dwindled again when he pitted on Lap 12 and fell further down the order.

Thompson was now fifth having got around his teammate Abel and is now charging and hunting down Lindh, running 1.1 seconds faster than the Swedish driver. Thompson darts to the inside of Lindh and passes him into Turn 1 for fourth place.

Halfway home, the order is Kirkwood leading Frost by over seven seconds with Serravalle third, Thompson fourth and Lindh fifth with Abel, Lastochkin, de la Vara, Robb and Petrov completing the top 10.

Robb, Petrov, Enders and Comeau are all a lap or more down and Kirkwood was closing on Robb to try to lap him once more.

After a frenetic opening two-thirds of the race, the race stabilized into the final 10 laps. Thompson was working to close on Serravalle for third. Otherwise the order remained static.

With five to go, Kirkwood’s lead stood at 11.1903 seconds with the order still the same behind him.

Kirkwood took the white flag with a 12-second lead over Frost, with Serravalle, Thompson and Lindh still in the top five.

And he took the checkered flag with a final margin of victory of 12.3497 seconds over Frost, with Serravalle capturing his first Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires podium in a well deserved third.

Edit: After the race it was revealed that Serravalle was hit with a 10-second penalty for an improper re-entry after the Lap 1, Turn 1 incident. That promoted Parker Thompson to the final spot on the podium and moved Serravalle to fourth.

Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Portland GP Race #1 – Unofficial Results

P No Name Team Laps Diff
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 30
2 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 30 12.3497
3 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 30 18.8289
4 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 30 21.7556
5 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 30 35.2033
6 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 30 39.7415
7 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 30 40.5314
8 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 30 64.9424
9 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 29 1 LAPS
10 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 29 1 LAPS
11 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 28 2 LAPS
12 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 28 2 LAPS
13 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 4 Mechanical

Tomorrow’s second race of the weekend is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. PDT, following the conclusion of the NTT IndyCar Series race.

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Road To Indy at Grand Prix of Portland – 11am – Kirkwood grabs pole and bonus point

Kyle Kirkwood flipped the script on yesterday’s Indy Pro 2000 qualifying session. The RP Motorsport rookie was chasing after a blindingly quick lap by Sting Ray Robb but fell short.

Today, it was Kirkwood, who set an unattainable mark on his 11th of 14 laps.

It’s Kirkwood’s fifth pole of the season and 10th of his Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires career.

Juncos Racing veteran Robb will start on the front row alongside Kirkwood. Championship leader Rasmus Lindh improved on his seventh-place qualifying effort and will begin on the inside of the second row. The Swede will be joined in the second row by RP Motorsport newcomer Artem Petrov

The last of three straight Road To Indy qualifying sessions, the Indy Pro 2000 Series, took to the track as scheduled at 10:25 am. The ambient temperature was 72F, four degrees warmer than when the USF2000 drivers kicked things off 80 minutes ago. The track temperature was 92F.

With five minutes gone in the session, it was Robb, at 66.936 seconds that held the top spot. Kirkwood went to the top of the timing screens on his fifth lap of the session and immediately ducked into pit lane.

The 2018 USF2000 Champion was joined on pit lane by the majority of the field, for adjustments and a fresh set of Cooper Tire slicks.

At the half-way point of the session, it was Kirkwood, with a lap timed at 66.6469 seconds that held the provisional pole. He was followed in the top five by Robb, Artem Petrov, Danial Frost, and Jacob Abel.

Abel and Frost were the first of the front runners to head back out on the 1.964-mile, 12-Turn road course, but the other drivers quickly followed.

As the Cooper Tires reached optimal operating temperatures, lap times started to fall. With five minutes remaining it was Robb who had the provisional pole. He was followed by Kirkwood, Thompson, Lindh, and Serravalle.

The shuffling of the order wasn’t done though. The timing screen was lit up with green and purple as drivers set their quickest laps.

With two minutes remaining, it was Kirkwood who had the quickest lap at 66.249 seconds. That was almost two-tenths quicker than Robb.

Unofficial qualifying results for Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products Race #2

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 1:06.249 –.—- 14
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:06.444 0.1949 14
3 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 1:06.553 0.3041 13
4 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 1:06.614 0.3651 14
5 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 1:06.642 0.3925 15
6 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 1:06.690 0.4413 15
7 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 1:06.782 0.5329 14
8 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:07.241 0.9916 15
9 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 1:07.252 1.0025 15
10 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 1:07.258 1.0093 14
11 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:07.487 1.2384 13
12 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:07.525 1.2764 14
13 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:07.749 1.5004 15

The first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend is scheduled to get the green flag at 5:25 pm, the last track activity of the a busy Saturday at the Grand Prix of Portland.

Road To Indy at the Grand Prix of Portland – Friday – 2:45pm – Robb grabs first pole, championship leader Lindh is seventh

Sting Ray Robb, by six-hundredths of a second, grabbed his first career pole at the event the Payette, Idaho native call his home race.

The soon to be 18-year-old’s 66.475-second lap on his ninth of 14 laps was quicker than Kyle Kirkwood.

Kirkwood’s RP Motorsport teammate Artem Petrov, who is making only his second Road To Indy appearance, finished a tenth behind Kirkwood to start behind Robb.

Championship leader Rasmus Lindh was only able to turn in the seventh quickest lap and will have some work to do in tomorrow’s 30-lap race.

The one positive for the Juncos Racing rookie is his teammate keeping the bonus point for winning the pole away from Kirkwood.

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying began with overcast skies and an ambient temperature of 75F. The track temperature was 92F, and humidity was reasonably high at 62%.

The early leader in the 20-minute session was Kyle Kirkwood with a lap of 66.791 seconds. At that point in the session, only Robb had joined Kirkwood as driver’s with sub 67-second laps.

At the half-way point of the session, 11 of the 13 drivers were on pit road for adjustments and fresh Cooper Tire slicks.

The top five were Kirkwood, Robb, Frost, Lindh, and Thompson.

The Chicago Pneumatic/PWR Junior Team/SKF sponsored No. 10 of Lindh was the first car to head back out on the 1.964-mile, 12-Turn road course.

Sting Ray Robb was the first driver to go quicker after getting his Cooper Tires into the ‘go-fast’ range, moving to the provisional pole.

Kirkwood quickly turned in a purple lap, moving to the provisional pole. Kirkwood’s time in the preferred position didn’t last long, as Robb supplanted him by a slim six-hundredths of a second.

The top two slowed significantly, cooling their Coopers before getting back on it for a couple of hot laps to end the session. Robb and Kirwood were able to get within a tenth of their best times but could not go faster.

Late in the session, Kirkwood’s RP Motorsport teammate Artem Petrov turned a lap only nine-tenths behind Kirkwood.

Indy Pro 2000 unofficial qualifying results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:06.475 –.—- 14
2 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 1:06.542 0.0671 13
3 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 1:06.636 0.1613 13
4 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 1:06.832 0.3569 14
5 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 1:06.851 0.3760 15
6 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 1:07.092 0.6167 14
7 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 1:07.126 0.6510 13
8 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:07.302 0.8269 14
9 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 1:07.356 0.8807 13
10 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:07.462 0.9867 14
11 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:07.487 1.0122 13
12 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 1:07.517 1.0424 14
13 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:07.781 1.3063 15

The first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend rolls off at 5:25 pm on Saturday, but the middle rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is back on track for their second qualifying session of the weekend at 10:25 am tomorrow.

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Road To Indy at Portland – 9:50am – Sting Ray Robb leads first Indy Pro 2000 practice at home race

Juncos Racing veteran Sting Ray Robb began his ‘home race’ the right way, leading the lone test Indy Pro 2000 before qualifying.

Championship leader Rasmus Lindh had the fourth quickest time, almost a half-second behind his teammate. Lindh’s closest competitor for the championship, Kyle Kirkwood ended the session with the second-fastest lap.

The top six drivers were within a half-second, and the top seven were within one second.

The first open-wheel cars on track at the Portland International Raceway for the 2019 Grand Prix of Portland was the Indy Pro 2000

At the half-way point of the 25-minute session, Kyle Kirkwood had the quickest lap at 66.729 seconds. He was followed by Sting Ray Robb, Rasmus Lindh, Danial Frost, Parker Thompson, Artem Petrov, Nikita Lastochkin, Antonio Serravalle, Jacob Abel, Matthew Round-Garrido, Kory Enders, Antoine Comeau, and Moisés de la Vara.

At just past the half-way point of the session, Robb went to the top of the timing screens.

He held that position until the red and checkered flags came out with two minutes remaining. The red flag was caused by Exclusive Autosport veteran Lastochkin, who made contact in Turn 4.

Indy Pro 2000 first practice results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 1:06.464 –.—- 13
2 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport USA 1:06.644 0.1804 16
3 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 1:06.859 0.3944 18
4 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 1:06.950 0.4863 14
5 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 1:07.021 0.5570 15
6 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport USA 1:07.041 0.5770 15
7 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 1:07.255 0.7913 14
8 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 1:07.770 1.3059 14
9 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 1:07.852 1.3882 12
10 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 1:07.921 1.4566 14
11 27 Matt Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development/BN Racing 1:07.967 1.5025 15
12 11 Antonio Serravalle Pserra Racing/RP Motorsports USA 1:07.996 1.5318 11
13 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 1:08.405 1.9407 17

The middle rung of the Road To Indy was on track yesterday for three 45-minute test sessions. The baker’s dozen drivers turned a total of 631 laps and championship contender Kirkwood was the quickest driver. He was followed by Sting Ray Robb and championship leader Lindh.

Combined results of Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires test

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM FASTEST LAP DIFFERENCE TOTAL LAPS
1 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport 67.3527   52
2 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 67.4199 -0.0672 54
3 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 67.654 -0.3013 24
4 11 Antonio Serravalle RP Motorsport 67.7211 -0.3684 63
5 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 67.7459 -0.3932 46
6 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 67.9163 -0.5636 56
7 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 68.2597 -0.907 64
8 27 Matthew Round-Garrido Jay Howard Driver Development 68.351 -0.9983 61
9 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport 68.3924 -1.0397 33
10 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 68.4935 -1.1408 47
11 6 Moisés de la Vara DEForce Racing 68.4964 -1.1437 63
12 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 68.5963 -1.2436 40
13 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 70.5829 -3.2302 28

The Indy Pro 2000 drivers are back on track for their first qualifying session of the weekend at 2:05 pm.

Indy Pro 2000 at Portland International Raceway – Preview – Lindh and Kirkwood engaged in epic title battle – home race for Sting Ray Robb

By Steve Wittich

With only six points separating Rasmus Lindh and Kyle Kirkwood at the top of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires points table. The middle rung on the Road To Indy ladder is the closest of the three championships headed to the final two events of the 2019 season.

Juncos Racing rookie Lindh has held the lead since the second race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in May, a span of nine races.

The duo has shared the podium six times this season, including the last four races.

Kirkwood had two finishes outside of the top 10 in the first five races of the season, giving Swede Lindh a 45-point head start after the series left Indianapolis, Ind.

Since then, Kirkwood has won six of seven races to close the gap to six points with four races remaining.

The Jupiter, Fla. native leads Lindh six wins to two wins, but Lindh has been more consistent. Scoring ten podiums – versus eight for Kirkwood – and has not finished worse than fourth this season. Lindh’s average finish in the first 12 races of the season is 2.4 versus Kirkwood with an average finish of 4.1.

Both drivers visited the Portland International Raceway as USF2000 drivers last year. Kirkwood won both races with Lindh finishing fourth in the first race and second in the final race of the season.

The middle rung of the Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires has visited Rose City for in nine seasons and contested a total of 11 races.

Previous Indy Pro 2000 winners at Portland International Raceway

YEAR DRIVER TEAM
2018 Race #2 Davis Malukas BN Racing
2018 Race #1 Oliver Askew Cape Motorsports
2008 Race #2 John Edwards AIM Autosport
2008 Race #1 Tom Gladdis Andersen Racing
2007 Devin Cunningham AIM Autosport
2006 Michael Potekhen Apex Racing
2005 Graham Rahal Andersen Walko Racing
2004 Michael Potekhen Eurosports Racing
2001 Marc De Vellis De Vellis Racing
2000 Alex Figge World Speed Motorsports
1999 Joey Hand S3

 

 

Current NTT IndyCar Series drivers Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe celebrate on the Indy Pro 2000 (then Star Mazda) podium at Portland International Raceway in 2005 (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)


Bonus Points

With the title fight certainly headed to the finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, bonus points could very well come into play.

Each race has three bonus points available; one each for winning the pole, leading the most laps, and turning the quickest race lap.

Kirkwood has scored 15 bonus points so far, leading Lindh by five points in the critical category. Currently, only six drivers have scored bonus points in Indy Pro 2000 this season.

RP Motorsport rookie Kirkwood has four poles, led the most laps six times and has been the fastest driver during a race on five occasions.

Eighteen-year-old Lindh has started on the pole four times, led the most laps in three races and has been the fastest driver three times.

Indy Pro 2000 bonus points

RANK DRIVER POINTS
1 Kyle Kirkwood – R 163
2 Rasmus Lindh – R 158
3 Sting Ray Robb 111
4 Parker Thompson 108
5 Nikita Lastochkin 100
6 Ian Rodriguez- R 99
7 Danial Frost – R 86
8 Phillippe Denes – R 79
9 Antonio Serravalle – R 68
10 Moisés de la Vara 63
11 Kory Enders – R 56
12 Jacob Abel – R 49
13 Charles Finelli 48
14 Jacob Loomis – R 48
15 Antoine Comeau 22

Natural terrain road courses

Kyle Kirkwood has a slight advantage over Rasmus Lindh when it comes to the series first six races on natural terrain road courses – two each the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Road America and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The pair have won all six races.

Rasmus Lindh leads Kyle Kirkwood one the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Kirkwood has four wins, two poles, five podiums and led 73 laps to collect 163 points.

Lindh has two wins, three poles, five podiums and led 55 laps to score 158 points.

Danial Frost, Sting Ray Robb, Ian Rodriguez and Parker Thompson each have two natural terrain road course podiums.


Other things to play for

One of the prizes for the first three drivers in the Indy Pro 2000 championship is an Indy Lights test, something that Oliver Askew parlayed into a ride last year.

Currently, Abel Motorsports veteran Parker Thompson holds down the third spot in the championship with 259 points but has a pair of hungry drivers nipping at his heels.

Exclusive Autosport rookie Danial Frost is only five points adrift, while Sting Ray Robb, the hottest of the three, is only 18 points back.

Over the last three races, the Juncos Racing veteran has scored 68 points versus 52 points for both Thompson and Frost. Game on!

The drivers between seventh and 12th in the championship – Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), Moisés de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Phillippe Denes (Fatboy Racing!), Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), Ian Rodriguez (RP Motorsport) and Antonio Serravalle (Pserra Racing) are separated by only 27 points.

2019 Indy Pro 2000 points through 12 of 16 races

RANK DRIVER POINTS BACK
1 Rasmus Lindh – R 323
2 Kyle Kirkwood – R 317 -6
3 Parker Thompson 259 -64
4 Danial Frost – R 254 -69
5 Sting Ray Robb 241 -82
6 Nikita Lastochkin 190 -133
7 Kory Enders – R 158 -165
8 Moisés de la Vara 148 -175
9 Phillippe Denes – R 146 -177
10 Jacob Abel – R 140 -183
11 Ian Rodriguez- R 132 -191
12 Antonio Serravalle – R 131 -192
13 Charles Finelli 115 -208
14 Jacob Loomis – R 48 -275
15 Antoine Comeau 40 -283
16 Damiano Fioravanti – R 22 -301
17 Artem Petrov – R 21 -302
18 Parker Locke – R 20 -303

Home race for Sting Ray Robb

The trip from Sting Ray Robb’s Payette, Idaho home to Portland Ore. is just under 400 miles. That makes the Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products at Portland International Raceway the Idahoan’s ‘home race.’

The soon to be 18-year-old will well over 100 guests in attendance and taking part in several activities with his fans, family, and sponsors.

The Juncos Racing veteran will:

  • host a fan camp on Friday and Saturday
  • take part in the Kingdom Racing Miles of Smiles program
  • be interviewed on the Cooper Tire Stage (by Steve from TSO Ladder)
  • and, in possibly the most Idaho thing ever at a race track, host potato sack races

Click here to see this on Instagram


Changes

Matthew Round-Garrido, a podium finisher in USF2000 in Toronto, Ontario earlier this year, will be making a move up a step on the ladder. The 20-year-old will in the Excel Labs/No Stone Unturned sponsored No. 27 from the Jay Howard Driver Development stable. It’s the first time the team and driver have run an Indy Pro 2000 race.

Antonio Serravalle along with family-run Psera Racing is moving the Tycoon Capital Limited No. 11 from under the Jay Howard Driver Development tent to the RP Motorsport tent.

“I am really excited to join RP Motorsports this coming weekend,” explained Serravalle. “From the outside, they look to be a great team and obviously have fast equipment which has been proven by Kyle Kirkwood. We needed a change, and with only two events remaining on the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 calendar, it was better to explore our options now, rather than wait until the offseason.”


Other Steve type things

  • Kyle Kirkwood has led 135 straight laps and 158 of the last 194 laps
  • Kyle Kirkwood has 18 Road To Indy wins in 26 starts, a win percentage of an astounding 69.2%.
  • Parker Thompson making his 75th Road To Indy start in Race #1
  • Kory Enders first Indy Pro 2000 podium on the World Wide Technology Raceway At Gateway oval moved him from 11th in points to 7th in points.
  • The only Indy Pro 2000 champions that won at Portland International Raceway were Joey Hand (1999) and John Edwards (2008).
  • The pole sitter at Portland International Raceway has only won twice in 11 races. The average starting position of the winners is 2.8.
  • In 2010, Devin Cunningham won from the outside of the fifth row, the furthest back a winner has come from.
  • On two occasions, Jason LaPoint in 2000 and Adrian Carrio in 2006, the pole-sitter has failed to finish the race.
  • The average finishing position of the inside front row starters is 9.1.

Race Weekend Basics

Race #1: Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products
Race #2: Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products

Race #1 distance: 30 laps or 40 minutes
Race #2 distance: 30 laps or 40 minutes

Each entry can utilize three new sets of Cooper Tire slicks as well as one set of used/scuffed tires from the test at Portland International Raceway.

Drivers failing to slow at least 15% in a timing sector with a local yellow will be subject to a two-place grid spot penalty

Drivers who fail to heed the checkered flag at the end of a session will receive a two-grid spot penalty

Causing one red flag will result in a driver losing their fastest lap

Causing a second red flag will wipe out all of drivers laps and they will be parked for the remainder of the session

Driver points are distributed as follows: 30 – 25 – 22 – 19 – 17 – 15 -14 – 13 – 12 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – an additional one point will be awarded to the pole sitter, to the driver who leads the most laps, and to the driver who turns the quickest race lap


Watch last year’s races from Portland International Raceway.

Race #1

Race #2

 


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Road To Indy at World Wide Technology Raceway At Gateway – Friday – Lindh on pole in Indy Pro 2000 and three other big stories

There were four big stories in Indy Pro 2000 qualifying.

Championship leader Rasmus Lindh was the final driver on track, and his two-lap average of 142.857 mph was quick enough to grab the pole for the Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge Of St. Louis. The pole is the fourth of the season for the Juncos Racing rookie and the seventh in two Road To Indy seasons.

Kyle Kirkwood, who has won the last Indy Pro 2000 races, was set to start on the outside of the front row, but after running afoul of Rule 8.4.4 was disqualified and will start from the tail of the 12 car field.

Rule 8.4.4 states that:
While the Car is in the Qualifications line, an Entrant’s representatives may make Tire pressure and front wing flap adjustments only. Mainplane, wicker or complete wing assembly changes are not permitted.

The RP Motorsport crew made changes to the rear-wing after the Soul Red No. 28 was in the qualifying line.

Kory Enders, who was the fourth car on track for qualifying, held the provisional pole through six drivers before giving up the spot to Kirkwood first and Lindh second.

It was fun to watch the 22-year-old pace pit-road nervously while driver after driver failed to match his speed.

Antoine Comeau is making his first-ever oval start while driving for Peter Dempsey’s Turn 3 Motorsport and will start an impressive fourth.

Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge of St. Louis qualifying results

RANK CAR NO. DRIVER TEAM 2-LAP AVERGE (mph) 1st LAP 2nd LAP
1 10 Rasmus Lindh Juncos Racing 142.857 143.102 142.612
2 7 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 142.197 142.271 142.123
3 2 Sting Ray Robb Juncos Racing 141.444 140.992 141.899
4 3 Antoine Comeau Turn 3 Motorsport 141.039 140.850 141.229
5 5 Artem Petrov RP Motorsport Racing 140.930 141.009 140.851
6 6 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 140.856 141.549 140.170
7 68 Danial Frost Exclusive Autosport 140.642 140.492 140.792
8 90 Nikita Lastochkin Exclusive Autosport 137.578 137.279 137.878
9 8 Parker Thompson Abel Motorsports 136.860 136.138 137.589
10 83 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing 136.406 136.201 136.612
11 51 Jacob Abel Abel Motorsports 136.190 140.440 132.190
12 28 Kyle Kirkwood RP Motorsport Racing DSQ DSQ DSQ

The 55 lap Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge of St. Louis is scheduled to get the green flag on Saturday at 1:45 pm (Central).

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