Reigning NACAM Formula 4 champion Manuel Sulaiman claimed his first Indy Pro 2000 win at Mid-Ohio, at the expense of DEForce Racing team-mate Parker Thompson.
Turn 3 Motorsport’s Danial Frost started from pole, but Thompson was able to find a way past into the lead on the opening lap and remained there until the pace car was called out on lap six of 25.
On the restart he held on to the position as his team-mate Sulaiman attacked Frost for second, but after a few laps back at full racing speed his engine appeared to blow up as a thick cloud of smoke came out of the back of his car and he had to stop.
The lap before Sulaiman had passed Frost for second place, which then became the lead once Thompson retired. The pace car was required again because of Thompson’s issues, and after that second appearance Sulaiman had to hold off Frost to earn his first win by 0.4058 seconds.
Pabst Racing’s Hunter McElrea passed championship leader Sting Ray Robb with a few laps to go to complete the podium, with Robb leading his Juncos Racing team-mate Artem Petrov home in fourth.
Colin Kaminsky finished sixth ahead of series returnee Jacob Abel, and there was a gap of almost nine seconds to the battle for eighth place between Kory Enders (DEForce), Antoine Comeau (Turn 3) and Moises de la Vara (DEForce).
In addition to Thompson, Charles Finelli and Andretti’s Devlin DeFrancesco also retired from the race. Robb now has a 28-point lead over DeFrancesco, while Frost has passed Petrov for third in the standings.
Race results (25 laps)
|1||Manuel Sulaiman||DEForce Racing||38m38.8008s|
|2||Danial Frost||Turn 3 Motorsport||+0.4058s|
|3||Hunter McElrea||Pabst Racing||+3.0990s|
|4||Sting Ray Robb||Juncos Racing||+5.1469s|
|5||Artem Petrov||Juncos Racing||+6.1372s|
|6||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||+7.3255s|
|7||Jacob Abel||Abel Motorsports||+8.0038s|
|8||Kory Enders||DEForce Racing||+16.7780s|
|9||Antoine Comeau||Turn 3 Motorsport||+17.1375s|
|10||Moises de la Vara||DEForce Racing||+17.4699s|
|11||Bob Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||+40.1861s|
|Ret||Charles Finelli||FatBoy Racing|
|Ret||Parker Thompson||DEForce Racing|
|Ret||Devlin DeFrancesco||Andretti Steinbrenner Racing|
|Fastest lap: McElrea, 1m17.0058s