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Road To Indy at Mid-Ohio – Rasmussen makes first lap pass for the lead in second straight USF2000 victory

By Steve Wittich

For the second straight race, Christian Rasmussen made a first lap pass for the lead after starting on the outside of the front row.

Christian Rasmussen celebrates a USF2000 win on the podium at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

The Jay Howard Driver Development driver survived a Lap 3 restart, steadily and consistently driving away from an intense battle for second. The 20-year-old crossed the finish line with a healthy 9.5753 second gap over the pole sitter Hunter McElrea.

McElrea, spent 13 laps battling Matthew Round-Garrido for second, finally passing the BN Racing driver with four laps to go. After the race, McElrea was less than pleased with some of the Englishman’s defensive driving maneuvers.

Combine the three extra points earned by that pass with an eighth place finish by championship leader Braden Eves and the Kiwi starts Sunday’s race 13 points closer to the points lead. The margin between first and second is now 28 points.

McElrea’s Pabst Racing teammate Colin Kaminsky was able to get around Round-Garrido at the same time, finishing on the podium for the third time this year.

The call to start the 17 2.0L Elite Engines powering the 17 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship entries came as scheduled at 4:01 pm. The ambient temperature was 84F, the track temperature was 115F and the humidity was a comfortable 45%.

The front row of McElrea and Rasmussen brought the field to the green flag on the front straight. McElrea got a decent jump, with Rasmussen ducking in behind the Soul Red No. 22. The Dane was able to grab the lead in Turn 4 on the first lap.

The start of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

At the back of the field, the No. 77 of Timmy Pagliuso, went way too deep into Turn 4, spinning and getting stuck in ‘China Beach.’ The yellow flag came out before the first lap was completed.

The running order at the end of first lap was Rasmussen, McElrea, Round-Garrido, Tomaselli, Kaminsky, Yuven Sundaramoorthy, Jak Crawford, Braden Eves, Manuel Sulaiman, Darren Keane, Eduardo Barrichello, Zach Holden, Jack William Miller, Reece Gold, Christian Bogle, Nolan Siegel and Pagliuso.

The green flag came back out to begin Lap 4. Rasmussen jumped out to a big lead. Behind him, Round-Garrido was able to get past McElrea for second with an outside Turn 4 pass.

On Lap 6, Kaminsky made a move on Tomaselli for fourth, immediately putting pressure on his teammate McElrea.

Rasmussen crossed the line 1.8 seconds ahead his former Jay Howard Driver Development teammate Round-Garrido. The Pabst Racing foursome of McElrea, Kaminsky, Tomaselli, and Sundaramoorthy were running nose to tail in third through sixth.

By Lap 8, McElrea was all over the gearbox of Round-Garrido, looking to the outside of the BN Racing driver in Turn 4, but thinking better of it and tucking back in behind him.

The Mazda Road To Indy 200K Scholarship winner faked to the outside again on the next lap, but once again, dropped in behind Round-Garrido.

Out front Rasmussen had built a 3.99 second lead.

Only three seconds covered second place Round-Garrido, to eighth place Eves.

On Lap 11, McElrea looked to inside of Round-Garrido, but once again, was unable to complete the pass.

Rasmussen had a 5.3 second lead with five to go. Behind him, ten cars were running line-astern, proving that the passing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course isn’t easy.

The JHDD/CSU|One Cure/Lucas Oil sponsored No. 6 in the hands of Rasmussen was turning incredibly consistent laps out front.

With four laps remaining, Round-Garrido made a mistake, falling off the podium to fourth after being passed by McElrea and Kaminsky.

Further back in the field an inter team battle between a trio of Cape Motorsports teammate was underway. Newcomer Crawford was defending against Eves and Keane.

The 14-year-old was able to hold off his older teammate to bring the RE/Max, Am Cap Home Loans home sponsored No. 4 in seventh place.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Race #1 Unofficial Results

1 6 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 20 LAPS
2 22 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 9.5753
3 23 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 10.7498
4 27 Matt Round-Garrido BN Racing 11.2931
5 24 Bruna Tomaselli Pabst Racing 12.7114
6 21 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 13.2952
7 4 Jak Crawford Cape Motorsports 13.8461
8 8 Braden Eves Cape Motorsports 14.0798
9 2 Darren Keane Cape Motorsports 14.5044
10 14 Zach Holden Legacy Autosport 15.1382
11 12 Manuel Sulaiman DEForce Racing 15.6301
12 3 Reece Gold Cape Motorsports 27.0755
13 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 27.4602
14 41 Eduardo Barrichello Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 28.6715
15 7 Christian Bogle Jay Howard Driver Development 29.2901
16 36 Nolan Siegel Newman Wachs Racing 32.1383
17 77 Timmy Pagliuso Legacy Autosport 18 LAPS

Sunday’s final 20-lap or 40-minute Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio race is scheduled to get underway at 11:05 am.

Road To Indy at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – Previewing Indy Pro 2000 – Lindh’s consistency leads to championship lead

By Steve Wittich

If you aren’t paying attention to the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires championship yet, this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would be a great time to start.

There is currently a quartet of multiple race-winning drivers that are separated by a slim 35 points.

Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires standings with seven races remaining

1 Rasmus Lindh – R 237
2 Parker Thompson 207 -30
3 Kyle Kirkwood – R 205 -32
4 Danial Frost – R 202 -35
5 Sting Ray Robb 173 -64
6 Nikita Lastochkin 137 -100
7 Phillippe Denes – R 118 -119
8 Kory Enders – R 116 -121
9 Moisés de la Vara 114 -123
10 Jacob Abel – R 106 -131
11 Antonio Serravalle – R 105 -132
12 Ian Rodriguez- R 93 -144
13 Charles Finelli 76 -161
14 Jacob Loomis – R 48 -189
15 Damiano Fioravanti – R 22 -215
16 Parker Locke – R 20 -217

Current points leader Lindh has been the most consistent of the foursome, building a 30 point lead over Parker Thompson. The Juncos Racing rookie does not outright lead the series in victories, poles, or laps led. However, the Swedish driver does lead all drivers with seven podiums and has not finished worse than fourth all season. So far, a master class in being consistent.

Current Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires points leader Rasmus Lindh (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

“Of course winning is always the objective, but this is a long season that often rewards consistency,” said championship contender Parker Thompson. “After winning the first two races in St. Petersburg, I’ve been reminded often how important that consistency is. With Abel Motorsports, we’ve made a lot of headway this year. One single performance isn’t going to earn us the title. If our group can continue in the direction that we’ve been headed over the last couple of weekends though, then I’m very excited about our chances.”

Lindh made three USF2000 starts at the central Ohio circuit last year, grabbing one podium. He was the second quickest driver at the recent Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course open test.

A scant five points separate Thompson, Kyle Kirkwood, and Danial Frost with three events remaining on the calendar.

Thompson has one win, four podiums and eight top-fives in ten Road To Indy races on the 2.258-mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course. The Canadian has finished on the podium the last four times the series has been on track but is looking for his first win since a pair of trips to victory lane in the season-opening race weekend.

Kirkwood has climbed to the top step of the podium in his three previous Road To Indy starts at ‘Mid-O.” The 20-year-old also has three F3 Americas Championship Powered By Honda and two F4 United States Championship Powered By Honda on the historic road course.

Kirkwood is the hottest driver over the past five races, winning three times and scoring 137 points going back to the race in May at the 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway Oval.

Indy Pro 2000 points scored over the past five races.

1 Kyle Kirkwood – R 137
2 Rasmus Lindh – R 128
3 Danial Frost – R 117
4 Parker Thompson 109
5 Sting Ray Robb 90
6 Ian Rodriguez- R 77
7 Nikita Lastochkin 73
8 Kory Enders – R 73
9 Phillippe Denes – R 70
10 Moisés de la Vara 61
11 Antonio Serravalle – R 59
12 Jacob Abel – R 55
13 Charles Finelli 45
14 Jacob Loomis – R 28

Other storylines to follow this weekend

Jacob Abel, who is foregoing an F3 Americas Championship Powered By Honda weekend at Virginia International Raceway, has made five USF2000 series starts at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He had a trio of solid 11th place finishes last year. The 18-year-old finished the recent open test with the sixth quickest time, only three-tenths off his more experienced Abel Motorsports teammate Parker Thompson.

The Louisville, Kentucky driver is due for a breakout weekend, and with his past Road To Indy experience at the 2.258-mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course, this could be the weekend.

Will testing results carry over?

Exclusive Autosport rookie Danial Frost led the combined timesheet during a two-day series open test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course a few weeks ago. Frost led the way with a lap of 76.2167. His championship rivals were all within a three-tenths of the 17-year-old. Rasmus Lindh (twice), Parker Thompson (twice) and Kyle Kirkwood joined Frost as drivers that led one of the six sessions on the 2.258-mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course.


A new team, Turn 3 Motorsport along with driver Antoine Comeau will both be making their series debut this weekend at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Comeau and Turn 3 Motorsports will be contesting the remainder of the Indy Pro 2000 rounds this year, in preparation for a full-season campaign in 2020.

Comeau, a Canadian with an impressive resume developed racing Radicals, has completed an extensive testing program in the team’s No. 3 PM-18 to prepare for this new adventure.

Experienced Road To Indy racer and engineer Peter Dempsey leads Turn 3 Motorsport’s effort into Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The Irishman won ten times in two seasons of Indy Pro 2000 action, before spending parts of three seasons in Indy Lights. Dempsey, who lives in the Chicago, Ill. area has also spent time as a race engineer with Juncos Racing and DEForce Racing.

“It’s great to be back to being a part of the Road to Indy ladder,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “Antoine (Comeau) has been working really hard over the past year to adapt to the Indy Pro 2000 car. We had a very successful test here at Mid-Ohio a few weeks ago, and I’m really looking forward to using that as a platform to keep improving throughout the weekend.”

“Antoine has done a fantastic job in the Radical Cup this year,” continued Dempsey. “Joining the Indy Pro 2000 series presents a new challenge for him. We are looking to build on this weekend and finish out the rest of the 2019 season to compete in a full season campaign in 2020.”

Some Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course history

The middle rung of the Road To Indy, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Series will contest a Saturday/Sunday doubleheader on the 2.258-mile, 13-Turn Mid-Ohio Road Course. It will mark the 18th and 19th races at “Mid-O” for the series.

Indy Pro 2000 winners at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

2018 Race #2 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing
2018 Race #1 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing
2017 Race #3 Anthony Martin Cape Motorsports
2017 Race #2 Victor Franzoni Juncos Racing
2017 Race #1 Anthony Martin Cape Motorsports
2016 Race #2 Nico Jamin Cape Motorsports
2016 Race #1 Nico Jamin Cape Motorsports
2015 Race #2 Neil Alberico Cape Motorsports
2015 Race #1 Santi Urrutia Team Pelfrey
2014 Race #2 Garett Grist Andretti Autosport
2014 Race #1 Nicolas Costa Team Pelfrey
2013 Race #2 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport
2013 Race #1 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport
2006 Ryan Justice Northwest Autosport
2005 Rafa Matos Ocean Tomo Racing
2004 Michael McDowell Star Race Cars
2002 Guy Cosmo Racers Edge Motorsports

Juncos Racing is the only team active team that has won at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Drivers representing the Speedway, Ind. team have three race wins, including two by Rinus van Kalmthout (VeeKay) last year.

The team also has four poles at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, leading all teams. The only other active team with a pole win is BN Racing.

The Ricardo Juncos led team also has more podiums at ‘Mid-O’ than any other team. Timothy Buret, Diego Ferreira, Victor Franzoni, Robert Megennis, Will Owen, and VeeKay have combined for 13 podiums.

The pole-sitter has won 13 of 17 races. The furthest back a winner has started was fourth (Santi Urrutia in 2015). The average starting position of the winner is 1.8.

The only time the pole-sitter has failed to finish a race was in Race #2 last year, when David Malukas suffered a mechanical feature. The average finishing position of the pole-sitter is 2.8.

The previous 17 races have occurred over ten seasons, and the eventual series champion has won at least one race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in six of those years.

Race weekend basics

Race name: Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio

Race #1 length: 25 laps or 40 minutes
Race #2 length: 25 laps or 50 minutes

Qualifying Record:70.9428 seconds by Santi Urrutia in 2016
Race Record: 71.5804 seconds by Jack Harvey in 2015

Each entry can utilize three new sets of Cooper Tire slicks as well as one set of used/scuffed tires from the race weekend in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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.

To avoid a red flag and penalty (see below) during qualifying, you must park your disabled vehicle in a safe area (determined by the race director)

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

Causing a second red flag during the same session 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.

Race #1

Race #2


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

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USF2000 at Road America – 2019 – Kaminsky grabs second straight pole – top three within three-hundredths

For the second straight Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship race, Pabst Racing veteran Colin Kaminsky will start on pole, but, it wasn’t by very much. A pair of drivers, Baron and McElrea, were both within three-hundredths of the Homer Glen, Ill. native.

The 18 USF2000 drivers entered for the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by Elite Engines were the first of three straight Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying sessions on Friday afternoon.

The Cape Motorsports trio of Braden Eves, Reece Gold, and Darren Keane, along with Pabst Racing’s Hunter McElrea and Colin Kaminsky were the last five drivers to take to the iconic circuit.

Veteran Alexandre Baron was the early leader and was the only driver in the 130-second range.

McElrea, on his second lap of the session, went to provisional pole.

At the half-way point of the 20-minute session, the quickest driver with a lap at 130.2975 seconds was rookie McElrea. Kaminsky, Christian Rasmussen (Jay Howard Driver Development), Baron, Matthew Round-Garrido (BN Racing), Cameron Shields (Newman Wachs Racing), Jak Crawford (DEForce Racing), Braden Eves Cape Motorsports), Eduardo Barrichello (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports) and Darren Keane (Cape Motorsports).

McElrea went quicker on his third lap, but his lap was bested by teammate Kaminsky, as well as Baron.

Baron was able to quicker on his fourth lap but missed grabbing the provisional pole by two-hundredths of a second. Kaminsky was another hundredth back.

With five minutes remaining, championship leader Eves came to pit road, having turned only the 10th quickest lap at that point in the session. The Cape Motorsports crew made a quick adjustment, and the No. 8 was able to complete one lap at speed, moving from 11th to eighth.

The only other driver to go quicker on their final lap was Shields, who moved up to sixth.

Unlike the shorter road courses that we visit, drivers and team did not have the time to come to pit road for adjustments and then get their Cooper Tires up to peak operating temperature.

Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Road America Powered by Elite Engines USF2000 Unofficial Race #1 Qualifying Results.

1 23 Colin Kaminsky Pabst Racing 2:10.268 –.—- 8
2 14 Alex Baron Legacy Autosport 2:10.292 0.0247 7
3 22 Hunter McElrea Pabst Racing 2:10.298 0.0300 8
4 2 Darren Keane Cape Motorsports 2:10.686 0.4185 8
5 12 Manuel Sulaiman DEForce Racing 2:10.774 0.5063 8
6 73 Cameron Shields Newman Wachs Racing 2:10.854 0.5863 8
7 6 Christian Rasmussen Jay Howard Driver Development 2:10.860 0.5926 7
8 8 Braden Eves Cape Motorsports 2:10.882 0.6142 7
9 41 Eduardo Barrichello Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 2:11.007 0.7391 8
10 21 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Pabst Racing 2:11.029 0.7611 6
11 24 Bruna Tomaselli Pabst Racing 2:11.111 0.8436 8
12 52 Jak Crawford DEForce Racing 2:11.198 0.9306 8
13 27 Matt Round-Garrido BN Racing 2:11.245 0.9777 8
14 36 Nolan Siegel Newman Wachs Racing 2:11.613 1.3453 8
15 3 Reece Gold Cape Motorsports 2:11.739 1.4712 8
16 40 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 2:12.223 1.9552 8
17 28 Anthony Famularo BN Racing 2:13.578 3.3101 8
18 7 Christian Bogle Jay Howard Driver Development 2:13.968 3.7001 8

Saturday’s USF2000 race gets the green flag at noon on Saturday, but first up they will qualifying tomorrow morning again at 8 am.

Road To Indy on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course – Eves makes it four in a row to extend his USF2000 championship lead

By Steve Wittich

Braden Eves was able to survive three restarts and a quick teammate to start his rookie Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship campaign with four straight wins.

Only two other drivers in USF2000 history have won the first four races of the season. Jay Howard won the first six races to start the 2005 season and the next year, J.R. Hildebrand won the first seven races of the season. Both drivers went on to win the championship.

The 20-year-old scored 65 of a possible 66 points, only missing out on the point for the quickest race lap in Friday’s race, to grow his championship lead from 15 to 33 points

Braden Eves navigates the “esses” on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course on the way to his second win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

“With Darren behind me at the start, I was able to give him a little more of a draft because he’s further behind in the championship, but that was about it – we’re teammates off track, and we help each other to get better, but it’s all on when we’re racing,” said the 20-year old. “I focused on what I needed to do and keeping him behind me. But it still hasn’t set in, my start to the season, especially since Darren has been right with me all through testing. Everyone at Cape Motorsports is working super hard, and they’re very good at what they do, and everything has worked in my favor so far. It was so cool to see all the fans out there today – it really puts it all in perspective on the cool down lap, when everyone is waving at you. It’s a great feeling.”

Darren Keane finally got a result that matched his pace. The veteran from Deerfield Beach, Fla. had the quickest lap of the race twice, and the second and third fastest in his other two starts.

“I finally figured out how to go for it on that last restart,” said Keane. “I had been a little conservative earlier in the race because Hunter was so close; I didn’t want to make a mistake. The car was different from yesterday and it took a while to figure out how to make it go fast. Now I know what to do when I’m in that position the next time. But I have been pretty mellow since everything that happened at St. Pete, and that’s why I think I handled what happened yesterday so well. When something bad happens, I just focus on what’s next, working on my mindset. It allows me to filter the bad stuff a lot easier, and while I’m super happy now, I know that I can do better, and I can build from this. Points make prizes, and I took some good points this weekend.”

$200K Mazda Road to Indy Shootout winner Hunter McElrea extended his podium streak to four to start his rookie season. Typically, that would result in leading the title hunt, but the American-born Kiwi’s impressive start has been muted by Eves equally scintillating start to the season.

“We’re only four races into a long championship, and we’ve had a pretty good start, aside from Braden winning all four races. I learned from yesterday; it was a race I should have won, but that’s in the past. It was a solid race today and good points, so we’re focusing on the long run. It’s very easy to look at something with a smaller mind like I did yesterday, but I am on the podium at Indianapolis. I’ve watched races from here ever since I can remember so this is a dream come true. Thanks to Mazda Motorsports for giving me the opportunity, Pabst Racing and all my supporters at home.”

Eves trip to victory lane was the ninth in 12 Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course races for brothers Nicholas and Dominic Cape. The St. Petersburg, Fla. based team now has 17 podiums at this event, ten more than their closest rival Pabst Racing.

The first of three Road To Indy races on the final day of the INDYCAR Grand Prix got the green flag at 9:15 am. The sun was shining, but the temperature was struggling to reach 50F.

The Cape Motorsports duo on the front row immediately lined up nose-to-tail and held the position through the treacherous Turn 1. Behind them, the other 19 drivers were able to get through Turn 1 cleanly.

The running order at the end of the first lap was Eves, Keane, McElrea, Crawford, Shields, Baron, Kaminsky, Dickerson, Miller, Barrichello, Famularo, Sundaramoorthy, Rasmussen, Gold, Bogle, Round-Garrido, Siegel, Tomaselli, and Cabrerra.

Zach Holden who was slotted to start sixth was not able to take the green flag due to a mechanical issue, and Manuel Cabrera, who started ninth was immediately off the pace and was forced to retire after seven laps with a mechanical issue.

The biggest mover on the first lap was Legacy Autosport veteran Baron who ended the first lap seventh after starting 12th.

Sulaiman’s run of reliable results began to unravel when he fell from fourth to eighth on Lap 2 after experiencing problems shifting. Things would only get worse from there for the DEForce Racing rookie.

Eves gapped Keane by 1.5 seconds as the pair of Cape Motorsports drivers started the third lap of the race. Keane had McElrea right under his rear wing.

Behind the front runners, Dickerson, Sulaiman and Miller were engaged in a good battle for seventh, that ended when the bright red No. 40 of Miller and the metallic blue No. 12 of Sulaiman fell down the running order to 18th and 19th respectively.

The first caution of the 20-lap race came out as the leader crossed the line to start Lap 6. Jay Howard Driver Development driver Matthew Round-Garrido had an incident in Turn 7. The AMR INDYCAR Safety Team got him restarted, and he came to pits where the Jay Howard Driver Development crew got him back on track.

The top ten when the yellow-flag came out were Eves, Keane, McElrea, Crawford, Shields, Barron, Dickerson, Kaminsky and Barrichello.

The green flag came out on Lap 7 and Eves was able to hold his lead over his teammate.

Eves turned the quickest lap of the race to that point on Lap 8 and held a 1.2 second lead over his teammate. McElrea was pressuring Keane, with a Crawford a safe distance behind them in fourth.

The driver on the move was a late addition to the field Dickerson who had moved to fifth.

On Lap 11, McElrea was able to get around Keane for second place.

The second yellow of the race came out soon after for an incident involving Miller who retired from the race.

The top 10 at that point were: Eves, McElrea, Keane, Crawford, Dickerson, Baron, Shields, Barrichello, Rasmussen and Famularo.

The green flag came out to start lap 13. On the restart Keane was able to get past McElrea to retake 2nd, Baron went by his Legacy Autosport teammate Dickerson for 5th and Rasmussen up to 7th

The caution flag came out for the third time on Lap 14 when Sulaiman spun in Turn 1 and was forced to retire due to contact. The Mexican driver was assessed an avoidable contact penalty for an incident with

At the same time, Shields fell down the running order, ending the race in 16th.

The top 10 when the field came back across the yard of bricks was Eves, Keane, McElrea, Crawford, Baron, Dickerson, Rasmussen, Barrichello, Famularo, and Kaminsky.

Keane looked to the outside of Eves on the long run down to Turn 1 on the Lap 18 restart but was not able to make a move.

Barrichello got the best restart, getting by three drivers to move into the top five, the rookies best result of the season.

Eduardo Barrichello makes the 90-degree right into Turn 1 on the way to his career USF2000 finish. (Photo Courtesy Of Andersen Promotions)

Eves lead over Keane at the white flag was 0.7 seconds. Keane had his hands full defending again from McElrea, but was able to hold him off to claim the middle step of the podium.

Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Grand Prix of Indianapolis Race #2 Results








Braden Eves

Cape Motorsports




Darren Keane

Cape Motorsports




Hunter McElrea

Pabst Racing




Jak Crawford

DEForce Racing




Eduardo Barrichello

Miller Vinatieri Motorsports




Alex Baron

Legacy Autosport




Dakota Dickerson

Legacy Autosport




Christian Rasmussen

Jay Howard Driver Development




Anthony Famularo

BN Racing




Colin Kaminsky

Pabst Racing




Bruna Tomaselli

Pabst Racing




Reece Gold

Cape Motorsports




Yuven Sundaramoorthy

Pabst Racing




Nolan Siegel

Newman Wachs Racing




Christian Bogle

Jay Howard Driver Development




Cameron Shields

Newman Wachs Racing

-1 LAP



Matt Round-Garrido

Jay Howard Driver Development

– 2 LAPS



Manuel Sulaiman

DEForce Racing

– 6 LAPS



Jack William Miller

Miller Vinatieri Motorsports

-10 LAPS



Manuel Cabrera

Exclusive Autosport

– 13 LAPS



Zach Holden

BN Racing


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“Canadian reaffirms Road to Indy efforts in 2019”
February 28, 2019 – Hailing from Unionville, Ontario, Canada, 16-year-old Antonio Serravalle is another confirmed driver in the 2019 Road to Indy program. Piloting a Pserra Racing entry in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, Serravalle joins the series as part of a father and son team, in conjunction with Jay Howard’s Driver Development (JHDD) program.

“The PM-18 car is an amazing car. It’s fast, and I really enjoyed the whole program in 2018 as the series is top notch and very professional,” explained Serravalle. “2018 was a year of learning new tracks and absorbing all that I could from engineers and team members. The car was unexpectedly fast, but I took it all in stride and worked on gaining as much knowledge as possible. I’m very excited about joining the 2019 grid with Pserra Racing and Jay Howard Driver Development. I’ve raced with Pserra Racing all my life on and off, and together we have had a lot of success.”

Competing in a partial Indy Pro 2000 campaign in 2018, Serravalle made the jump from karts to cars, skipping the first rung of the Road to Indy ladder, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. As a top contender in the shifter kart ranks around the world, Serravalle garnered race wins and championships in Canada, the United States and in Europe, and is one of only a handful of North American drivers that have claimed victory at the highest level on the world karting scene. Having never competed in a formula car before the 2018 season, Serravalle managed to secure multiple top-ten finishes, including an impressive eighth place result during his first oval event in May.

Pserra Racing is owned by Peter Serravalle, father of the young Antonio, and he will manage the engine and transmission side of the program. Daniel Mitchell will oversee the engineering of Antonio at each and every event weekend, while Jay Howard and his operation will provide paddock space, coaching, and other team services.

Serravalle continued “Jay Howard is a great mentor and driving coach who will help steer me in the right direction. His development program is second to none, and Jay has had a lot of personal success in the Road to Indy program. Having come from the professional level of karting to a pro in the IndyCar Series, Jay knows what to teach the young drivers both on and off the track and uses his experience to provide knowledge for the future champions of the sport.”

“This is a big step for the team but I treat it like a corporate business, with a lot drive and passion on a personal level,” explained Peter Serravalle. “My motive has always been that if you put the right staff together and work hard, success will come. We have a great engineer in Daniel Mitchell, who I was very impressed with the first time I saw him at work. He is very in tune with the driver and main focus is to get the most accurate feedback possible. Our mechanics have a ton of passion to win and believe in the driver, which make things run very smooth. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the Tatuus chassis and thousands of hours of work experience collected in Europe and North America.”

“My goals are clear,” added Antonio. “I want to win races! I know I can be the best and I have a few things on my side including my age level of experience, my mechanical knowledge, and a great team. I have been racing since I was eight years old in North America and Europe against some of the best drivers in the world. I’m positive I can be a top contender in the 2019 Indy Pro Series as I work towards my goal.”

Antonio Serravalle and Pserra Racing would like to thank Tycoon Capital Limited, Scuderia Ferrari Club of Toronto, Cos Shore Inc. -Medi- Scan, Ferrari & Associates, and Camptech II Circuits for all of their support in the past, present and future.

For information on press releases or other media services offered by Race Tech Development, please contact Mike Maurini via e-mail at or 317.270.8723. Race Tech Development can also be found on Twitter at @RTDMediaAndMGMT as well as Facebook at their Race Tech Development Fan Page.

Juncos Racing expands to a pair of 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires entries with the addition of Sting Ray Robb

Indianapolis, Ind. – Juncos Racing is pleased to announce today that Sting Ray Robb has joined the team for the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Sting Ray is the second driver announced by Juncos to the reigning 2018 Indy Pro 2000 (former Pro Mazda) champions line-up.

Sting Ray Robb, a young 17-year old from Payette, Idaho, joins Juncos Racing after collecting one podium, four Top-5’s and recording the fastest lap at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg during the 2018 Indy Pro 2000 season.

“I am excited about the 2019 season as I return to the Road to Indy with the series dominator, Juncos Racing.” Sting Ray stated.  “Juncos has proven to be the best in the industry and will, I’m sure, be challenging me to sharpen and hone my race craft to even higher levels.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to be racing amongst this very deep and talented pool of competitors.  I plan to be extremely demanding of myself as I learn from this team and we progress together throughout the season.  I am confident that as a driver for their awesome team, we will see success at many levels.  I stand amazed at how I have seen God work in every aspect of my life.  I’ll keep Him number one in my life and I’ll drive that #2 car to all my God-given ability. Let’s go racing – Godspeed!”

Sting Ray made his first appearance with Juncos Racing at the 2017 Chris Griffis Memorial Test and just completed a very successful test session with Juncos this week in Sebring, Florida.

Team Owner Ricardo Juncos said, “We are thrilled to add another great talent to our Indy Pro 2000 line-up.  Sting Ray (Robb) showed a lot of potential in his first test with our team back in 2017. This past year he had great consistency on track and we are looking to carry that momentum into this season. I would like to thank Sting Ray, his family, and supporters for the opportunity to add him to our strong Indy Pro 2000 line-up.”

Source: Team PR

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Hunter McElrea to Pabst Racing for 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship effort


19-Year-Old Australian Ready to Race in America with Two-Time USF2000 Team Champions

Oconomowoc, Wis. – If there’s been a driver who’s been beaming since late last year, it’s 19-year-old Hunter McElrea.

After all, he’s coming off a terrific 2018 that saw him win the Australian Formula Ford Championship on the strength of 13 wins in a 21-race season and a triumph in the third annual Mazda Road to Indy Shootout which awarded him a season scholarship in the 2019 USF2000 championship.

Excited and grateful, McElrea cannot wait for the USF2000 season to start as he joins Pabst Racing, the two-time consecutive USF2000 team champions.

“I am ecstatic to be on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship grid this year in the Soul Red Crystal No. 22 Pabst Racing car!” McElrea said. “Without the amazing support from Mazda Motorsports and my personal sponsors, Doric NZ and Miles Advisory Partners, I would not be here, so I cannot thank them enough for giving me this amazing opportunity!”

McElrea embarked on his racing career at age 9 as he competed in go-karts. By age 17, the young racer graduated to Formula Ford, winning events in Australia and New Zealand.

Certainly, McElrea, who was born in the United States before moving to Australia, looks forward to his return to America in an effort to climb up the open-wheel racing ladder. After testing with Pabst Racing during the Chris Griffis Memorial Open Test last fall, McElrea looks forward to his new car along with his transition back to the U.S.

Notably, McElrea recognizes the distinctions between his drive from last year to the one he’ll become acquainted with on a full-time basis in 2019.

“The main difference from the Formula Ford I was driving last year is having a slick tire and aerodynamics,” McElrea observed. “This obviously means a lot more overall grip which I really like. Living in the U.S. this year is also a new adventure which I am enjoying a lot.”

One thing that McElrea will enjoy is the winning attitude and ethics that make up the foundation of Pabst Racing. With two straight team championships in USF2000, McElrea recognizes what he will gain along with valuable experience.

“I am extremely happy to be joining a top Road to Indy team such as Pabst Racing,” he noted. “I am really looking forward to putting the massive effort from the team and myself from the offseason to use, and I will do my very best.”

The team is equally thrilled to welcome McElrea.

“This announcement has been in the making for quite some time and we couldn’t be more excited to have a talent such as Hunter as part of our team,” said team owner Augie Pabst. “Mazda Motorsports has been a huge part of open-wheel racing for many years and we couldn’t be more honored to put this effort on the racetrack for 2019.”

Given his life experiences in Australia, McElrea looks to some international IndyCar superstars for inspiration along with a Formula 1 immortal who still resonates with young drivers.

“I obviously look up to guys such as Scott Dixon and Will Power in the current era, who both have achieved my dream of winning the Indy 500 and IndyCar Championship,” McElrea said. “Ayrton Senna would be my racing idol, but I look up to many others.”

For a driver like McElrea, he will have the opportunity to further showcase his prowess, potential and talents on various tracks currently on the NTT IndyCar Series schedule and the 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind.

Likewise, McElrea cannot wait to drive his No. 22 car on these respected venues that his inspirations have competed at over the years.

“I am looking forward to all of the tracks,” McElrea said. “Obviously, tracks with history such as Indianapolis, Road America and Laguna Seca are going to be special, but also experiencing street courses and an oval for the first time will be a great experience. I can’t wait!”

Fortunately for McElrea and Pabst Racing, the USF2000 season is just around the corner with a series test coming up at Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 2-3 before the season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla. for rounds one and two on March 8-10.

Until then, McElrea and Pabst Racing look forward to the 15-round USF2000 season in the pursuit of wins and this year’s championship. This international talent looks to achieve his dreams of becoming an Indianapolis 500 winner and NTT IndyCar Series champion.

Source: Team PR

Circuit of The Americas – Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Test Session #2 – Oliver Askew leads the way

For the second straight session, the top three drivers were from the Andretti Autosport stable. After finishing the first session in third, Oliver Askew was able to leap his teammates with a lap of 1:54.3065. Julien Falchero, who led the first session of the day and veteran Ryan Norman were both just over two-tenths behind the 22-year-old Askew.

After a cloudy start to the day, the second Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires session began under a bright blue Texas sky. By the end of the 75-minute session, the ambient temperature was a comfortable 62F, and the track temperature was 79F.

The ten drivers turned a total of 508 laps between the two sessions with Falchero’s 58 circuits equating to the highest number.

The Belardi Auto Racing crew was able to get the gearbox of rookie Lucas Kohl repaired about half-way through the session, and the Brazilian was able to complete 15 laps.

The entire session was run under green flag conditions.

Combined timesheet from the first day of Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires at Circuit of The Americas

1 28 Oliver Askew Andretti Autosport 1:54.306 –.—- 52
2 26 Julien Falchero Andretti Autosport 1:54.530 0.2238 58
3 48 Ryan Norman Andretti Autosport 1:54.538 0.2315 56
4 13 Zachary Claman Andretti Autosport 1:55.342 1.0356 54
5 79 David Malukas Juncos Racing 1:55.423 1.1168 52
6 27 Robert Megennis Belardi Auto Racing 1:55.498 1.1915 53
7 21 Rinus VeeKay Carlin 1:55.597 1.2908 57
8 11 Logan Sargeant Carlin 1:56.161 1.855 52
9 67 Dalton Kellett BN Racing 1:56.791 2.485 54
10 5 Lucas Kohl Belardi Auto Racing 1:58.645 4.3386 20

I’ll be back a little later with some of the driver’s thoughts and pictures.

MRTI at Gateway Motorsports Park – Saturday – an emotional Harrison Scott and RP Motorsport snag first Pro Mazda pole

By Steve Wittich

A blistering first lap of qualifying, the only lap above 140mph, gave Harrison Scott and RP Motorsport their first Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires pole. Scott was emotional after championship leader Rinus VeeKay was not able to knock the Englishman from the top spot, celebrating enthusiastically with his RP Motorsport team.

“Unbelievable,” exclaimed Scott when TSO Ladder asked him about winning his first career pole in the United States. “I did not expect that at all. Honestly, we come here yesterday with only a 30 minute practice session, and a team, a whole unit the first time we ever set foot on an oval was at Lucas Oil Raceway Park (LORP).”

An emotional Harrison Scott celebrates his and his RP Motorsport teams first MRTI pole ((Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Championship leader VeeKay was the last driver on the track, but couldn’t knock off Scott and will start on the front row of a Pro Mazda race for the fifth race in a row and the seventh time this season.

Parker Thompson, who trails VeeKay by 25 points in the chase for the $790,300 Mazda Motorsports Advancement Scholarship was not able to qualify. An electrical issue that cropped in the first practice was not able to be fixed in time to make their spot in the qualifying line. The No. 90 Exclusive Autosport machine will start shotgun on the field on the inside of the sixth row.

de la Vara was the first driver to take to the 1.25-mile oval under sunny skies and thick humidity at 11:30 AM on Saturday, August 25, 2018.

The Mexican driver turned in a two-lap average of 137.730 mph, which held the provisional pole until Scott’s pole run. The DEForce Racing driver’s two-lap average was only surpassed one more time, and the rookie will start his second ever oval race on the inside of the third row.

Scott was the sixth driver on track and withstood five attempts to knock him from the top of the timing screens. The 22-year-old driver turned a first lap of 140.191 mph, almost an entire mph over any other driver, but had a moment on his second lap.

(With a knowing laugh and big smile) “Yeah, said Scott. “I got to Turn 3 and Turn 4, and it was like I didn’t have any tires left, and the rear was coming away from me. I was just holding on and had to be hesitant as a result. The big first lap blew it away. Nobody else was even close to that lap.”

Scott, who was forced to miss the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course double-header, after a VERY tough weekend in Toronto finished his chat with TSO Ladder by telling us:

“I’m incredibly proud – from Toronto to here – emotionally it’s been very tough on me. I love this sport, and I want to be racing at the top. This is all I want to do.

“Coming from Toronto, which was a big set back. I did a lot of thing over the break. To come here and put it on pole shows what I can do and also what the team can do.”

Oliver Askew was the second quickest driver in practice on Friday and had the third fastest time in the morning session. Unfortunately, those on pit road could hear big lift and a squeal of his Cooper Tires in a Turn 2 moment. Askew will start the race in fifth.

David Malukas, who is fighting Askew for third place in the championship will start on the outside of reigning USF200 champion.

Championship leader VeeKay was the last driver on track and also the closest driver to knocking off Scott of the inside of the front row, but the Dutchman’s two-lap average of 139.551 was not able to get the job done.

Mazda St. Louis Pro Mazda Oval Challenge Presented by Cooper Tires qualifying results

1 10 Harrison Scott RP Motorsport Racing 139.738 –.—- 140.191 139.287
2 2 Rinus VeeKay Juncos Racing 139.551 0.0861 139.245 139.859
3 12 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 137.730 0.9387 136.969 138.500
4 9 Robert Megennis Juncos Racing 137.691 0.9572 138.012 137.372
5 3 Oliver Askew Cape Motorsports 136.782 1.3915 137.288 136.280
6 79 David Malukas BN Racing 136.332 1.6088 136.459 136.206
7 27 Mathias Soler-Obel RP Motorsport Racing 136.325 1.6121 135.709 136.947
8 82 Sting Ray Robb Team Pelfrey 135.083 2.2191 135.442 134.727
9 8 Nikita Lastochkin Cape Motorsports 134.781 2.3686 134.602 134.960
10 83 Charles Finelli Fatboy Racing 133.660 2.9287 133.848 133.473

The 55 lap race is scheduled to roll off at 3:45 pm (local).

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MRTI Update #7 – Saturday – Entertaining Indy Lights race ends with O’Ward on the top step of the podium

By Steve Wittich

If you only looked at the boxscore for Saturday’s Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products, it would appear that Patricio O’Ward, who led all 35 laps had a relatively easy drive to his fifth Indy Lights race win of 2018. That was anything but the case.

“It was not an easy race – at all,” explained O’Ward to TSO Ladder. “It’s a good win for me, I’ve got the points lead and some good momentum heading into the second race tomorrow and Mid-Ohio.”

Adding: “I think so far this is the most physical track I’ve done. It’s super bumpy. It’s super hard to get everything perfect, and it’s so easy to put it in the wall. If you go over that edge, you’ll lose it.”

Pure emotion as Patricio O’Ward celebrates his fifth win of the 2018 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

Urrutia, who scored his 32nd career Mazda Road To Indy Presented by Cooper Tires podium, had an eventful race, dropping four spots on the start, driving his way up to second, falling back to fourth after an ill-timed spin, and finishing on the second step of the podium.

Ryan Norman finished on an Indy Lights podium for the second time on a road course this season. The 20-year-olds solid finish solidified his fifth-place championship standing and moved him to within 20 points of Victor Franzoni in fourth.

“I had a good start and was up to third, but I was struggling to keep the car under me early on,” explained Norman. “The car came to me by Lap 10, and I was able to chip away at it. It was pretty wet toward the end, but my car felt good in the rain, so I was able to power down and keep it clean. It was just a matter of braking on the inside and staying away from the rubber on the main braking line. I could brake deep, and that’s where I made up most of my ground. I got a podium at St. Pete in the first race of the season, and it’s been a drought since then so it’s good to be back here. There’s something about street races, I guess – this is definitely one of my favorite places!”

Pole sitter Colton Herta ended the morning qualifying session in the Turn 8 tire barriers and unfortunately sustained a non-displaced fracture at the base of his thumb. He was fitted with a brace and cleared to race.

After a pair of pace laps, the front row of Herta and O’Ward brought the field the green flag with light raindrops visible on the in-car camera of Dalton Kellett’s K-LINE sponsored No. 28 Andretti Autosport race car. The air temperature was 77F, and the track temperature was 95F.

It appeared that pole sitter Herta got a poor start with the car stepping out as he got to the gas. That caused the inside line behind him to accordion and the bright red Belardi Auto Racing No. 5 made nose to tail contact with the points leader.

Herta’s engineer Doug Zister told the ADVANCE Auto Parts IndyCar Radio Network that Herta’s poor start was due to Urrutia lifting Herta’s rear tires off the ground.

After the race, Urrutia told TSO Ladder: “Colton didn’t go, I don’t know what happened. At one point I just went, and I hit him, and then Franzoni came from behind and hit me really hard and broke my front wing.”

The ragged start of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography)

At the end of the first lap, the running order was: O’Ward, Teltiz, Norman, Herta, Franzoni, Kellett and Urrutia.

Herta and his teammate Norman went side-by-side through Turn 4 for the final podium spot, with Norman holding him off after having the preferred inside line going into Turn 5.

Herta made a move for the final podium spot in Turn 3 on Lap 3, and when they crossed the line to start Lap 4, he was 2 seconds behind Telitz, who was three-quarters of a second behind leader O’Ward.

After ten clean laps, O’Ward’s lead was 1.1 seconds over Telitz with Herta another 1.3 seconds back.

After 10 of the scheduled 35 laps, O’Ward had a 1.1 second lead over Telitz, who had Herta another 1.3 seconds back.

On Lap 11, the familiar black and teal No. 28 of the Dalton Kellett, the only Canadian in the field, nosed it into the tires in Turn 8. The Andretti Autosport veteran was able to get going on his own, avoiding a full-course caution and came to pit road where his crew put on a new front wing.

Herta started to pressure Telitz for the final spot on the podium and was able to get by him on Lap 13. Herta immediately began to push to catch his teammate up front.

Further back in the field, Franzoni and Urrutia were waging an entertaining battle for the fourth spot.

After 20 laps, O’Ward’s lead over Herta was 1.6 seconds. Teliz had dropped 2.1 seconds back from the points leader.

Herta had cut O’Ward’s lead to 1.4 seconds on Lap 22, but on the next lap the yellow flag came out for the Yankee Blue and White No. 98 of Herta, who made substantial contact with the concrete barriers at the exit of Turn 5.

We caught up with Herta later in the afternoon and while he was in obvious pain, the second generation driver wasn’t too down. With the bumps, he did think this was one of the worst tracks that he could have hurt his hand at. He said Turn 1 through Turn 3 and Turn 6 and Turn 7 weren’t too difficult for him, but the rest of the bumpy 1.786-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit was tough.

At the same time, there were some reports from around the racetrack that it was starting to drizzle.

The running order under the race’s first yellow flag was: O’Ward, Telitz, Urrutia, Franzoni, Norman, and Kellett, who was one lap down.

On the start of Lap 27, the green flag came back out. O’Ward got a great jump, and behind him, Urrutia put pressure on his teammate Telitz.

The two Belardi Auto Racing teammates fought for two laps before Urrutia got a good run down Lakeshore Blvd. and popped to the outside. The Uruguayan executed an over-under move getting ahead at corner exit. The two drivers made slight contact, which damaged the front wing of Telitz.

The No. 9 came to pit road for a new front wing and ended up finishing ninth.

There were reports on a track that the sprinkles were becoming a drizzle, but Urrutia was quickly catching O’Ward. Urrutia appeared to use too much curb in Turn 8 while trying to catch O’Ward with his car doing a half-spin at corner exit.

Urrutia lost a pair of spots to Franzoni and Norman but was able to get by Norman in Turn 3. Franzoni was the first driver to get to Turn 5, and he told us that he oversteered on ice like concrete. The result of that was an overcorrection and a hard hit into the concrete barrier in the same spot that Herta hit.

The race ended under caution with O’Ward crossing the under the checkered flag ahead of Urrutia and Norman.

O’Ward’s win is the first Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race win in Toronto for Andretti Autosport.

Cooper Tires Indy Lights Grand Prix of Toronto Presented by Allied Building Products Race #1 Results

The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires series will be back on track for their final race of the weekend at 12:25 PM on Sunday.

The NBCSN Indy Lights broadcast will air at 6 PM on Monday, July 16th.

Don’t miss any of the action:

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