Home News Johnson starts his double duty weekend by topping USFP2000 practice

Johnson starts his double duty weekend by topping USFP2000 practice

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Nikita Johnson and Jacob Douglas set the practice pace in USF Pro 2000 and USF2000 respectively at Portland.

USF2000’s half-hour session ran first, and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Evagoras Papasavvas set the initial pace with a 1m16.7067s.

He improved to 1m14.7379s, with Pabst Racing’s Jacob Douglas next to break into the 1m14s. Douglas then moved ahead with a 1m14.0425s, as Team USA scholar and USF2000 returnee Thomas Schrage went third fastest with a 1m14.8786s.

Seconds later he was shuffled down to fifth, and although he then improved his pace did not change his position. Pabst’s Max Garcia became the first to lap in the 1m13s, and DEForce Racing’s Mac Clark went third fastest.

Garcia was not on top for long, as Douglas recorded a 1m13.5553s and Papasavvas posted a 1m13.8548s. Clark then squeezed between them with a 1m13.831s, and that set the trend for the rest of practice with the leading drivers repeatedly improving and rotating positions.

With two minutes remaining the benchmark was a 1m12.7016s from Douglas, with Garcia 0.2356 seconds behind and Papasavvas a further 0.0067s back in third.

Clark was down in seventh, but on his final lap rose to fourth. The top two also improved, and Douglas ended practice by setting a 1m12.5309s.

That put him 0.3164s ahead of Garcia, and behind the next two were Velocity Racing Development’s Max Taylor in fifth and DEForce’s Jorge Garciarce in sixth. JHDD’s Lochie Hughes was the last driver within a second of the pace, and Exclusive Autosport’s Schrage was eighth fastest ahead on his second outing in USF2000.

Pabst’s points leader Simon Sikes was 1.4s off the pace in 12th, DEForce’s debutant Lucas Fecury – who was ninth in USF Juniors this yearr – was 13th fastest and JHDD’s debuting Ava Dobson propped up the timesheet in 17th. The single-seater rookie was 4.0648s slower than Douglas, and 1.814s off 16th place.

Absent from practice was VRD’s Nikita Johnson, who instead drove in USFP2000. Remarkably, he will race in both series this weekend.

USFP2000 practice began with Turn 3 Motorsport’s Michael d’Orlando on top, then DEForce’s Bijoy Garg took over in first place with a 1m11.0341s.

TJ Speed’s Lirim Zendeli was next to the front, setting a 1m10.8541s to lead Exclusive’s Salvador de Alba by 0.0357s before red flags appeared due to Pabst’s points leader Myles Rowe crashing out.

The session resumed with 14 minutes remaining, and de Alba usurpsed Zendeli with a 1m10.8498s set with 11-and-a-half minutes to go.

Moments later Johnson set a 1m10.7812s, then Garg and d’Orlando returned to the top with 1m10.4s laptimes. Turn 3’s Danny Dyszelski bettered Garg by 0.028s, and de Alba then set a 1m10.2454s to reclaim first place.

DEForce’s Kiko Porto beat that, only to be immediately bettered by a 1m09.9564s from Garg. Dyszelski responded by going 0.2284s faster, but Porto then beat him by 0.1383s and d’Orlando returned to second place before going top with a 1m09.4899s.

Porto’s next lap was 0.0581s faster, and kept him on top for three minutes before Johnson posted a 1m09.3219s. He improved to 1m09.262s to stay ahead to the end, while de Alba and then d’Orlando beat Porto. Rowe was 18th fastest.

Practice round-up
USF Pro 2000

1 Nikita Johnson Velocity Racing Development 1m09.0262s
2 Michael d’Orlando Turn 3 Motorsport +0.1287s
3 Salvador de Alba Exclusive Autosport +0.1811s
4 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing +0.3008s
5 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing +0.4607s
6 Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport +0.4615s
7 Francesco Pizzi TJ Speed +0.4958s
8 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +0.6993s
9 Ricardo Escotto JHDD +0.7459s
10 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport +0.7811s

1 Jacob Douglas Pabst Racing 1m12.5309s
2 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +0.3164s
3 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD +0.4130s
4 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +0.4474s
5 Max Taylor Velocity Racing Development +0.6817s
6 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +0.7053s
7 Lochie Hughes JHDD +0.7526s
8 Thomas Schrage Exclusive Autosport +1.0716s
9 Ethan Ho DC Autosport +1.2205s
10 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing +1.2589s