Home News Max Garcia leads Pabst 1-2 in USF2000’s first qualifying session of 2024

Max Garcia leads Pabst 1-2 in USF2000’s first qualifying session of 2024

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Max Garcia led a Pabst Racing one-two in the first qualifying session of the USF2000 season on the streets of St. Petersburg.

There was very little track activity in the first 10 minutes of the half-hour session, with everyone having only set one lap.

Jay Howard Driver Development’s Evagoras Papasavvas sat on top with a 1m15.7362s lap, with Garcia the only other driver to have gone sub-1m16s with their opening effort. His Pabst team-mates Sam Corry and Hudson Schwartz were third and fourth, and JHDD’s Michael Costello was fifth.

There was drama a few minutes later for Schwartz, and the retrieval of his car meant red flags had to be waved and the session was paused for several minutes.

The pace quickly dropped once drivers headed back out, and with 11 minutes to go Garcia led the way with a 1m13.7359s. He was fastest by 0.2409 seconds over Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Elliot Cox and 0.2569s over Corry. Improving on their fifth laps to to fill the places immediately below them were Papasavvas, Nico Christodoulou, Max Taylor and Jack Jeffers.

Papasavvas got within 0.1643s of Garcia’s provisional pole time while DC Autosport’s Ayrton Houk went sixth fastest with nine minutes remaining, and two-and-a-half minutes later Velocity Racing Development’s Taylor improved to go from seventh to sixth.

Two minutes after that Corry displaced Cox for third place, and two laps later improved again to take second from Papasavvas with a 1m13.4937s.

Garcia had lowered the pace to 1m13.5327s with three-and-a-half minutes to go, and kept his gap at the top at 0.0783s by setting a 1m13.4154s in response to Corry’s pace.

Another improvement from Garcia in the final minute lowered the pole time to 1m13.3313s, and after the chequered flag DEForce Racing’s Nicolas Giaffone went third fastest but was over 0.45s off the pace.

Papasavvas sat out the last five minutes but still qualified fourth, ahead of Cox, VRD’s Christodoulou and Taylor who improved two more times at the end.

Qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Max Garcia Pabst Racing 1m13.3313s 14
2 Sam Corry Pabst Racing 1m13.4937s +0.1624s 14
3 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing 1m13.7946s +0.4633s 14
4 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD 1m13.9002s +0.5689s 8
5 Elliot Cox SFHR 1m13.9768s +0.6455s 15
6 Nico Christodoulou VRD 1m14.0104s +0.6791s 14
7 Max Taylor VRD 1m14.0560s +0.7247s 14
8 Quinn Armstrong DEForce Racing 1m14.2450s +0.9137s 14
9 Michael Costello JHDD 1m14.2556s +0.9243s 13
10 Ayrton Houk DC Autosport 1m14.3466s +1.0153s 15
11 Jack Jeffers Exclusive Autosport 1m14.4097s +1.0784s 15
12 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport 1m14.4813s +1.1500s 15
13 Xavier Kokai VRD 1m14.5677s +1.2364s 15
14 Cole Kleck VRD 1m14.5863s +1.2550s 15
15 Thomas Schrage Exclusive Autosport 1m14.7444s +1.4131s 12
16 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing 1m14.9764s +1.6451s 7
17 Carson Etter DC Autosport 1m14.9870s +1.6557s 15
18 Lucas Fecury DEForce Racing 1m15.1054s +1.7741s 15
19 Brady Golan DEForce Racing 1m15.2845s +1.9532s 14
20 Hudson Schwartz Pabst Racing no time 1