Home News Kiko Porto earns first USF Pro 2000 pole on IMS road course

Kiko Porto earns first USF Pro 2000 pole on IMS road course

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

DEForce Racing’s Kiko Porto ended a 23-race wait to claim a pole in USF Pro 2000 as he set the pace in qualifying on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

Drivers faced a drying but wet track and cool temperatures, and Porto’s team-mate Bijoy Garg set the pace early on as teams opted for wet tyres.

Turn 3 Motorsport’s Jonathan Browne then moved to the top, but was almost immediately shuffled down to fourth by Garg and Exclusive Autosport duo Salvador de Alba and Yuven Sundaramoorthy.

Less than a minute after that the red flags were being waved as Pabst Racing’s Jordan Missig went off exiting turn six and into the barriers. Many drivers switched to slick tyres during the stoppage, and the track was busy when the session restarted as the drying of the track made Sundaramoorthy’s 1m32.262s benchmark look beatable.

However it took a few laps to get the slick tyres up to temperature, with series returnee Charles Finelli not even being able to do that as he spun, and Sundaramoorthy was eventually usurped by Browne and only by 0.067 seconds.

Browne later found a bigger improvement though to move over a second clear at the top, which kept him ahead until the closing minutes as the track dried even more. TJ Speed’s Francesco Pizzi was first into the 1m29s, with team-mate Lirim Zendeli and Turn 3’s Michael d’Orlando bearing Browne’s benchmark.

Sundaramoorthy spun with just over two minutes to go, as d’Orlando went fastest with a 1m29.477s. He improved by almost a second on his nexy lap as Reece Ushijima jumped up to second, with Porto outside of the top 15 before jumping up to third just before the chequered flag came out.

Moments later Pizzi and Zendeli bettered him, then Jack William Miller went fastest. Porto still had time for one more lap though, and he made the most of it to go fastest by 0.2482 seconds.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing 1m27.7746s 12
2 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorsports 1m28.0228s +0.2482s 12
3 Francesco Pizzi TJ Speed 1m28.0359s +0.2613s 12
4 Michael d’Orlando Turn 3 Motorsport 1m28.1135s +0.3389s 8
5 Lirim Zendeli TJ Speed 1m28.3686s +0.5940s 12
6 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport 1m28.4733s +0.6987s 12
7 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing 1m28.5802s +0.8056s 13
8 Reece Ushjima JHDD 1m28.5881s +0.8135s 11
9 Jackson Lee Turn 3 Motorsport 1m28.6423s +0.8677s 8
10 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 1m28.6609s +0.8863s 12
11 Joel Granfors Exclusive Autosport 1m28.7912s +1.0166s 12
12 Ricardo Escotto JHDD 1m29.0778s +1.3032s 8
13 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing 1m29.1146s +1.3400s 12
14 Christian Weir TJ Speed 1m29.2783s +1.5037s 12
15 Salvador de Alba Exclusive Autosport 1m29.3210s +1.5464s 12
16 Nicholas Monteiro NeoTech Motorsport 1m30.6343s +2.8597s 11
17 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing 1m30.7506s +2.9760s 9
18 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport 1m31.2288s +2.4542s 12
19 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Exclusive Autosport 1m32.1150s +4.3404s 12