Mazda Road To Indy Saturday update #1 – USF2000 and Pro Mazda Qualifying

According to a post on his Facebook page, Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire driver, Kyle Connery, who was transported to the hospital after a hard hit against a concrete wall on the outside of Turn 13 was released from the hospital around 8:30pm last night.


Cape Motorsports with /WTR sophomore Nico Jamin will start on pole for the first Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda race.  His time of 1:38.218 was a tenth of a second quicker than the quickest time of 01:38.3472 set in practice by Jake Eidson in practice on Friday.

Jamin’s quickest lap was only one hundredth ahead of his teammate Aaron Telitz, who was another one hundredth ahead of USF2000 championship leader, Pabst Racing’s Jake Eidson.

It rained overnight at NOLA Motorsports Park, but the sun was trying to poke through as the USF2000 field rolled onto quickly drying NOLA Motorsports Park at 9:50am for qualifying.

The field took to the 13-Turn circuit on a mix of slick and wet Cooper tires, but it quickly became apparent that the slicks were going to be the way to go.

The Cape teammates of Jamin and Telitz were the first two out on track.  Victor Franzoni was the early rabbit, and halfway through the session is was Jamin who the provisional pole sitter.

With ten minutes to go in the session most of the drivers came in to make changes to their Mazda powered Van Diemens.  Jamin and Telitz traded the provisional pole back and forth over the last five minutes.  Telitz jumped to the top on his last lap, but was followed immediately on track by his teammate, who pipped him by one hundredth.

The top 9 drivers were within one second of the pole sitter.

The top rookie in the session was John Cummiskey Racing Australian rookie Jordan Lloyd, who was only a tenth of a second ahead of his teammate Anthony Martin.

I had a chance to talk to Jamin, Telitz and Eidson after the session, and the biggest takeaway from all three of them was their surprise at how quickly the track gripped back up after a night of rain.

Telitz and Jamim, both mentioned that they were watching the big screens during the last five minutes, and that pushed them to find more speed.

They also shared that the curbing is extremely slippery when it is wet.

Complete qualifying results are as follows:

1 Nico Jamin 1:38.218
2 Aaron Telitz 1:38.234
3 Jake Eidson 1:38.239
4 Jordan Lloyd 1:38.572
5 Anthony Martin 1:38.894
6 Victor Franzoni 1:38.992
7 Parker Thompson 1:39.143
8 Keyvan Andres Soori 1:39.167
9 Luke Gabin 1:39.258
10 Yufeng Luo 1:39.470
11 Ayla Agren 1:39.492
12 Garth Rickards 1:39.536
13 Nikita Lastochkin 1:39.734
14 Max Hanratty 1:40.383
15 James Dayson 1:41.351
16 Augie Lerch 1:42.515

The first USF2000 race will take place at 3:30pm this afternoon.


Andretti Autosport’s rookie driver Weiron Tan led his sixth straight session at NOLA Motorsports Park to take the pole position for the first Pro Mazda Race of the event.  His time of 1:34.827 was a tenth and a half of a second ahead of Team Pelfrey rookie Santiago Urrutia.

The Pro Mazda field, minus Connery, rolled out for qualifying immediately after the USF2000 field finished with their qualifying.

With the track mostly dry, Tan was able to come within one tenth of his best practice time on Friday, and 11 of the 15 drivers were able to come within a second of the Malaysian pole sitter.

Cape Motorsports with /WTR, as a team, and also their championship leading driver Neil Alberico, have been struggling so far at NOLA Motorsports Park.  But, during the qualifying session they did start to make gains on the top half of the field.  Rookie, and reigning USF2000 Champion Florian Latorre scored the third quickest time, three tenths of a second behind Tan.  Meanwhile, Alberico improved to the ninth quick time, six tenths of a second behind Tan.  That is a vast improvement from the 1.2 seconds he trailed Tan by in practice on Friday.

Complete qualifying results are as follows:

1 Weiron Tan 1:34.827
2 Santiago Urrutia 1:34.980
3 Timothe Buret 1:35.190
4 Pato O’Ward 1:35.258
5 Florian Latorre 1:35.312
6 Garett Grist 1:35.387
7 Jose Gutierrez 1:35.397
8 Will Owen 1:35.458
9 Neil Alberico 1:35.474
10 Raoul Owens 1:35.510
11 Dalton Kellett 1:35.680
12 Daniel Burkett 1:35.903
13 Alessandro Latif 1:36.229
14 Parker Nicklin 1:37.612
15 Bobby Eberle(E) 1:39.221

The first Pro Mazda Race will take place at 5:50pm this evening.