Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda qualifying

USF2000 championship leader Nico Jamin will be starting the on the pole for the eighth straight race and ninth time this season.  The French driver will be honoring his fallen Formula 1 countryman this weekend.

Nico Jamin will be honoring his Jules Bianchi this weekend.  (Photo Courtesy of Nico Jamin)

Nico Jamin will be honoring his Jules Bianchi this weekend. (Photo Courtesy of Nico Jamin)

Meanwhile, Jamin’s closest championship competitor Jake Eidson continued his string of starting every USF2000 race this season from no worse than third as the 20 year-old will line up beside Jamin on the front row.

The half-hour qualifying session for the three Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course began promptly at 12:15pm as the 18 Mazda powered entries took to the 13 turn circuit.

It didn’t take long for the trio of championship contending sophomores to take the point with Jamin leading Aaron Telitz,  Eidson in the first five minutes.

With 20 minutes remaining in qualifying the top ten were: Jamin, Telitz, Anthony Martin, Eidson, Luke Gabin, Parker Thompson, Sennan Fielding, Garth Rickards,Nikita Lastochkin.

With 10 minutes remaining qualifying the top ten were: Jamin, Telitz, Eidson, Martin, Thompson, Rickards, Gabin, Agren, Fielding and Luo.

With two minutes left in the session, Telitz was pushing hard and lost control of the No. 3 Cape Motorsports with /WTR machine in the tricky Turn 9.  He lost his quickest lap for causing a red flag, but only fell one spot down the order to 3rd.

The top three drivers were within one second of the pole time set by Cape Motorsports with /WTR’s Jamin.

Qualifying results for Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda race #1

1 Nico Jamin 1:20.886

2 Jake Eidson 1:21.498

3 Aaron Telitz 1:21.531

4 Anthony Martin 1:21.943

5 Garth Rickards 1:21.958

6 Parker Thompson 1:22.104

7 Ayla Agren 1:22.247

8 Luke Gabin 1:22.283

9 Jack Mitchell 1:22.441

10 Yufeng Luo 1:22.510

11 Sennan Fielding 1:22.559

12 Keyvan Andres Soori 1:22.667

13 Nikita Lastochkin 1:22.738

14 Clint McMahan 1:22.937

15 Alex Mayer 1:23.356

16 Max Hanratty 1:23.531

17 James Dayson 1:23.792

18 Andrew List 1:24.994

The teams and drivers have a quick turn-around as the first USF2000 race of the weekend is at 4:45pm.

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Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire qualifying

After leading the way in seven of the last ten test and practice session in the last month at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, it should come as no surprise that Juncos Racing driver Garett Grist took the pole position for the first Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire race of the weekend.  His top lap of 1:19.409 was almost two seconds clear of Neil Alberico.

It’s been since the season opening weekend in St. Petersburg that Alberico has started on the front row of a Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire race, but a late flier moved him to the outside of the front row.

Eighteen buzzing Mazda Renesis powered Pro Mazda cars took to the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for their half-hour qualifying session at 2:30pm.

Ten minutes into the session and the top 10 were: Garett Grist, Will Owen, Neil Alberico, Weiron Tan, Florian Latorre, Jose Gutierrez, Pato O’Ward, Victor Franzoni, and Santiago Urrutia.

Halfway through the session most of the field came into make some adjustments and also put on a set of fresh sticker Cooper Tires.

With ten minutes left in the session the top 10 were: Grist, Urrutia, Buret, Alberico, Owen, Tan, O’Ward,  Dalton Kellett, Franzoni and Gutierrez.

Grist’s Juncos Racing teammate Timothe Buret will roll off third, just ahead of the first two drivers in the championship.  Urrutia will start on the outside of the second row while Tan will start on the inside of the third row.

The top 12 drivers qualified within one second of Grist.

Qualifying results for Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire race #1

 

RANK — DRIVER — QUICK LAP TIME

1 Garett Grist 1:19.409

2 Neil Alberico 1:19.580

3 Timothe Buret 1:19.665

4 Santiago Urrutia 1:19.745

5 Weiron Tan 1:19.762

6 Florian Latorre 1:19.774

7 Will Owen 1:19.879

8 Victor Franzoni 1:19.954

9 Jose Gutierrez 1:19.968

10 Pato O’Ward 1:20.047

11 Dalton Kellett 1:20.177

12 Kyle Connery 1:20.497

13 Daniel Burkett 1:20.561

14 Raoul Owens 1:20.610

15 Alessandro Latif 1:20.933

16 Michael Johnson 1:21.157

17 Bob Kaminsky(E) 1:22.682

18 Bobby Eberle(E) 1:22.969

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Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire practice:

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course has a reputation of being a circuit that changes dramatically throughout a race weekend, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that it was a whole different group of teams and drivers that led the second 30 minute Indy Lights practice session of the day.

Milwaukee winner Felix Serralles led the way with a top lap of 1:12.992.  He was joined in the top five by Ed Jones, Kyle Kaiser, Spencer Pigot and Jack Harvey.

There are a number of different tire strategies at play as each team has four sets of Cooper Tire slicks for the weekend. Some drivers went out on new tires, while some drivers elected to save a set of sticker tires for qualifying.

Ten minutes into the session and RC Enerson, Serralles, Shelby Blackstock, Kaiser and Harvey were the top five.

Not long after that Juan Piedrahita spun his No. 5 Mazda powered machine into the grass at Turn 8.  The Holmatro Safety Team got him out of the grass and re-fired.  The Colombian sophomore was able to drive back to the pits and returned to the track after his crew cleaned out some remnants of his grass mowing adventures.

The track went back to green with 15 minutes remaining and with ten minutes left the top five were: Blackstock, Enerson, Seralles, Max Chilton and Spencer Pigot.

With five minutes left in the session when in the session the track quickly went red to collect an umbrella that found it’s way onto the front straight.  Since there are few clouds in the sky, the umbrella must have made it’s way from pit road where it was being used to keep a driver shaded.   The track went back to green with four minutes left in the session.

Between practice sessions, TSO had the chance to chat with Carlin Racing and they admitted that they rolled of the truck wrong and that they made some big changes between sessions.  Whatever they did sure worked well.  Ed Jones was able to jump from eleventh in the morning session to second this afternoon.

Ten of the 12 drivers were within one second of leader Serralles.

All six teams Indy Lights teams had at least one driver representing them in the top seven.   Juncos Racing was the only team with two drivers in that group.

The complete Indy Lights timesheet looks like this:

RANK — DRIVER — QUICK LAP TIME

1 Felix Serralles 1:12.444

2 Ed Jones 1:12.752

3 Kyle Kaiser 1:12.859

4 Spencer Pigot 1:13.089

5 Jack Harvey 1:13.132

6 Shelby Blackstock1:13.149

7 Sean Rayhall 1:13.181

8 Juan Piedrahita 1:13.185

9 RC Enerson 1:13.429

10 Max Chilton 1:13.506

11 Ethan Ringel 1:13.699

12 Scott Anderson 1:13.857

These teams and drivers will be back on track bright and early at 8am tomorrow (Saturday August 1st) morning for qualifying.