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Denmark and Yeany share poles at NOLA in USF Pro 2000

by Bethonie Waring

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Jace Denmark and Hunter Yeany shared the pole positions in USF Pro 2000 qualifying at NOLA Motorsport Park.

Denmark was fastest in the first qualifying session with a 1m31.0488s, just over a tenth of a second quicker than Yeany.

The TJ Speed driver bounced back in the second session to take race two pole, while Denmark went fourth fastest.

Both Q1 and Q2 ran green throughout, with the field managing to stay on the circuit for the duration of the 20-minute sessions.

Nicolas Baptiste set the pace after the opening laps in Q1, but was soon knocked down the order by Nikita Johnson and Denmark in turn.

Denmark was leading the way at the mid-point, and improved twice more to keep first place out of reach of Yeany and Mac Clark.

Although Clark was in third place when the chequered flag waved, late flying laps from Ethan Ho and Simon Sikes knocked him down to fifth, ahead of Baptiste. 

Nicholas Monteiro also improved late to go seventh quickest. Nikita Johnson, Christian Brooks and Liam Sceats completed the top 10.

In Q2, Yeany went top in the first five minutes, but Denmark looked as if he would take a double pole as he set a 1m31.6984s. He later improved, only for Yeany to knock him off the top spot in the closing minutes. His 1m31.1144s secured him pole by 0.1537s over Baptiste, with Sikes in third.

Denmark was 0.2401s off the pace, with Johnson and Clark close behind him in fifth sixth. Free practice pace-setter Brooks qualified seventh, ahead of Sceats, Ricardo Escotto and Ethan Ho. 

It was two difficult qualifying sessions for championship leader Lochie Hughes, who was 13th in Q1 and 12th in Q2.

Qualifying round-up
Q1 results
1 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1m31.0488s
2 Hunter Yeany TJ Speed +0.1260s
3 Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport +0.1348s
4 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +0.1495s
5 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +0.1647s
6 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +0.1750s
7 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +0.2969s
8 Nikita Johnson VRD +0.2985s
9 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +0.3385s
10 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +0.3888s

Q2 results
1 Yeany 1m31.1144s
2 Baptiste +0.1537s
3 Sikes +0.1677s
4 Denmark +0.2401s
5 Johnson +0.2644s
6 Clark +0.3847s
7 Brooks +0.5665s
8 Sceats +0.5669s
9 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +0.5684s
10 Ho +0.5722s