Home News IndyCar support series complete pre-season testing in Florida

IndyCar support series complete pre-season testing in Florida

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

IndyCar’s support series were in action in Florida this week to complete their pre-season test schedule before racing gets underway this weekend.

Indy Nxt teams were at Homestead-Miami Speedway for a ‘private’ test, while the three rungs beneath it were all at Sebring.

USF Pro 2000 spread their test across two days, with two 45-minute sessions on Monday and two on Tuesday.

Pabst Racing’s Myles Rowe was fastest in the opening session, setting a 1m59.207s lap to head DEForce Racing’s Kiko Porto by 0.058 seconds. Exclusive Autosport’s Yuven Sundaramoorthy did not leave the pits and team-mate Lindsay Brewer failed to lap at a representative pace.

Lirim Zendeli led a TJ Speed one-two in session two, bettering Francesco Pizzi by 0.021s. Along with team-mate Christian Weir, they then missed the second day of action.

Rowe started Tuesday’s action by lowering the pace into the 1m58s, with the top six all improving and Rowe’s team-mate Jace Denmark getting within 0.086s of the pace. Sundaramoorthy failed to get on track again, and this time was joined by Turn 3 Motorport’s Jonathan Browne in remaining garage-bound.

The pace was slower in the final session, topped by Porto, but four drivers did set their personal best laps at that time while Pabst drivers were absent from proceedings.

Joining Turn 3 for the test was Christian Brooks, who has no racing programme confirmed for 2023, while new team NeoTech Motorsport made its first appearance with Nicholas Monteiro, who graduates from Brazilian Formula 4.

Supporting the USFP2000 action on Monday was the 13-strong USF Juniors contingent, and DEForce’s Nicolas Giaffone was over half a second faster than anyone else in the series’ opening session.

Velocity Racing Development’s Max Taylor was second fastest, and did not improve in the next two sessions, while Exclusive’s Joey Brienza did not make it on track but then set the pace in session two.

He became the only driver to lap in the 2m11s, and was 0.102s faster than DEForce’s Quinn Armstrong, as new team-mate Giovanni Cabrera sat out the action.

Giaffone was fastest again in session three, and 0.045s down on the absent Brienza’s session two benchmark. The Velocity drivers had all of their laps invalidated over a rule violation.

USF2000 took to the track on Tuesday, and Pabst’s yet-to-be confirmed driver Simon Sikes was the man to beat. He topped session one by 0.654s, session two by 0.160s and then skipped session three as DC Autorsport’s Ethan Ho set the pace.

Brienza and Chase Gardner got seat time with Exclusive, as well as their new signing Avery Towns, while Zack Ping did a session for Velocity despite his brother Noah being signed to the team for USF2000.

Andre Castro returns to the series as a late addition to the 2023 grid at Future Star Racing after racing in USF Juniors last year, and for round one his team-mate will be Trey Burke. Also confirmed only for St. Petersburg is Nicholas d’Orlando at Exclusive.

Testing results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1m58.669s 37
2 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1m58.755s +0.086s 33
3 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1m58.826s +0.157s 43
4 Michael d’Orlando Turn 3 Motorsport 1m59.058s +0.389s 42
5 Christian Brooks Turn 3 Motorsport 1m59.142s +0.473s 53
6 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1m59.148s +0.479s 33
7 Lirim Zendeli TJ Speed 1m59.451s +0.782s 27
8 Francesco Pizzi TJ Speed 1m59.472s +0.803s 33
9 Reece Ushijima JHDD 1m59.541s +0.872s 57
10 Joel Granfors Exclusive Autorport 1m59.598s +0.929s 50
11 Salvador de Alba Exclusive Autosport 1m59.640s +0.986s 54
12 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 1m59.966s +1.297s 34
13 Christian Weir TJ Speed 1m59.973s +1.304s 26
14 Jackson Lee Turn 3 Motorsport 2m00.060s +1.391s 52
15 Ricardo Escotto JHDD 2m00.103s +1.434s 52
16 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 2m00.293s +1.624s 47
17 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 2m00.945s +2.276s 51
18 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Exclusive Autosport 2m01.042s +2.373s 15
19 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 2m02.827s +4.158s 46
20 Nicholas Monteiro NeoTech Motorsport 2m02.835s +4.166s 38
1 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing 2m05.431s 32
2 Ethan Ho DC Autosport 2m05.664s +0.233s 50
3 Mac Clark DEForce Racing 2m06.007s +0.576s 44
4 Lochie Hughes JHDD 2m06.085s +0.654s 17
5 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD 2m06.219s +0.788s 46
6 Elliot Cox SFHR 2m06.328s +0.897s 32
7 Al Morey JHDD 2m06.388s +0.957s 38
8 Louka St. Jean JHDD 2m06.567s +1.136s 32
9 Nikita Johnson Velocity Racing Development 2m06.571s +1.140s 29
10 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing 2m06.654s +1.223s 49
11 Jacob Douglas Exclusive Autosport 2m06.703s +1.272s 33
12 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 2m06.735s +1.304s 51
13 Nicholas d’Orlando Exclusive Autosport 2m06.896s +1.465s 47
14 Trey Burke Future Star Racing 2m06.970s +1.539s 32
15 Sam Corry Velocity Racing Development 2m07.086s +1.655s 28
16 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing 2m07.092s +1.661s 52
17 Chase Gardner Exclusive Autosport 2m07.189s +1.758s 51
18 Andre Castro Future Star Racing 2m07.479s +2.048s 19
19 Zack Ping Velocity Racing Development 2m07.579s +2.148s 18
20 Danny Dyszelski Velocity Racing Development 2m07.814s +2.383s 26
21 Avery Towns Exclusive Autosport 2m08.391s +2.960s 37
22 Gordon Scully Velocity Racing Development 2m08.498s +3.067s 46
USF Juniors
1 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 2m11.964s 18
2 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing 2m12.009s +0.045s 46
3 Quinn Armstrong DEForce Racing 2m12.066s +0.102s 47
4 Ethan Ho DC Autosport 2m12.144s +0.180s 52
5 Jimmie Lockhart Velocity Racing Development 2m12.244s +0.280s 34
6 Jack Jeffers Exclusive Autosport 2m12.287s +0.323s 36
7 Lucas Fecury DEForce Racing 2m12.487s +0.523s 44
8 Max Taylor Velocity Racing Development 2m12.616s +0.652s 29
9 Ethan Barker Velocity Racing Development 2m12.718s +0.754s 27
10 Brady Golan DEForce Racing 2m13.417s +1.453s 51
11 Erick Schotten Exclusive Autosport 2m14.017s +2.053s 48
12 Carson Etter DC Autosport 2m17.040s +5.076s 41
13 Giovanni Cabrera Exclusive Autosport 2m17.466s +5.502s 26