Turn 3 Motorsport’s Michael d’Orlando claimed pole position for the second USF Pro 2000 race at Sebring in a twice-red flagged qualifying session.
TJ Speed’s Francesco Pizzi set the pace at first, although d’Orlando headed out on track later than his rivals and went fastest by 0.607 seconds when he posted his first laptime.
Due to going on track later, it meant d’Orlando did not get the chance to set a second lap before red flags came out due to Yuven Sundaramoorthy spinning off at turn seven.
Before the flags waved, the pace had dropped rapidly with Jace Denmark, Josel Granfors, Salvador de Alba and then Lirim Zendeli going to the top. The last-named’s 1m59.818s lap put him 0.122s ahead of de Alba.
When qualifying eventually restarted, it took two laps for everyone to get back up to pace. Pizzi returned to first place with a 1m59.248s, with Denmark 0.009s slower in second place, before d’Orlando crossed the line and went clear by 0.579s by setting a 1m58.658s.
Pizzi struck back by posting a 1m58.594s, as Myles Rowe also set a sub-1m59s time to move up to third place. D’Orlando’s tactic of going late worked again, as when he completed his next lap he was fastest once more and by 0.056s.
Rowe improved again but stayed in third, while Zendeli and Denmark set 1m58s laps to go fourth and fifth. With a few minutes left on the clock the session was red flagged again, and the chequered flag was then shown, after Nicholas Monteiro came to a stop on the straight betweens turn six and seven.
That meant pole went the way of reigning USF2000 champion d’Orlando, who again was not able to get a lap in while his rivals did before the red flags waved, with Pizzi and Rowe less than a tenth off pole in second and third.
De Alba secured sixth place with a late improvement, ahead of Reece Ushijima, Kiko Porto, Jordan Missig and Joel Granfors. Less than a second covered the top 13.
|1||Michael d’Orlando||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m58.538s||5|
|2||Francesco Pizzi||TJ Speed||1m58.594s||+0.056s||7|
|3||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||1m58.616s||+0.078s||7|
|4||Lirim Zendeli||TJ Speed||1m58.819s||+0.281s||7|
|5||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1m58.851s||+0.313s||7|
|6||Salvador de Alba||Exclusive Autosport||1m58.869s||+0.331s||6|
|8||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1m59.009s||+0.471s||6|
|9||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1m59.051s||+0.513s||7|
|10||Joel Granfors||Exclusive Autosport||1m59.096s||+0.558s||7|
|11||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m59.152s||+0.614s||5|
|12||Jackson Lee||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m59.304s||+0.766s||5|
|13||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1m59.495s||+0.957s||7|
|14||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||1m59.794s||+1.256s||6|
|16||Christian Weir||TJ Speed||2m00.155s||+1.617s||7|
|17||Lindsay Brewer||Exclusive Autosport||2m00.881s||+2.343s||6|
|18||Nicholas Monteiro||NeoTech Motorsport||2m01.190s||+2.652s||5|
|19||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Exclusive Autosport||2m01.957s||+3.419s||1|