DEForce Racing’s Nolan Siegel has begun the Indy Pro 2000 season by setting the free practice pace on Thursday in St. Petersburg.
While the series’ car has been upgraded to include the halo cockpit protection device, the gaps were as close as ever on the timesheet and the half-hour session ended with the top three separated by less than a 50th of a second.
Last year’s title runner-up Braden Eves was the pacesetter halfway through the session, sitting ahead of Siegel by almost two tenths, but when the pace improved by half a second late on he was shuffled down the order.
Juncos Hollinger Racing’s Reece Gold went top with 10 minutes to go, bettering Eves by a tenth, then Exclusive Autosport’s Christian Brooks went 0.0148 seconds faster than Gold.
Siegel then knocked 0.0395s off that benchmark with seven minutes remaining, only for Gold’s team-mate Enaam Ahmed to then go top by 0.143s.
The response from Siegel after that was a 1m10.4350s lap that put him 0.0111s clear, then after the chequered flag there was personal bests from Exclusive’s Louis Foster and Brooks.
Euroformula runner-up Foster was just 0.0041s shy of Siegel, who came eighth in USF2000 last year, while Brooks was a miniscule 0.0007s slower than his team-mate.
Free practice results
|1||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||1m10.4350s||22|
|2||Louis Foster||Exclusive Autosport||1m10.4391s||+0.0041s||22|
|3||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||1m10.4398s||+0.0048s||22|
|4||Enaam Ahmed||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1m10.4461s||+0.0111s||21|
|5||Reece Gold||Juncos Hollinger Racing||1m10.6434s||+0.2084s||22|
|6||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m10.6569s||+0.2219s||20|
|9||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1m10.9564s||+0.5214s||23|
|10||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1m10.9660s||+0.5310s||22|
|11||Colin Kaminsky||Pabst Racing||1m11.0729s||+0.6379s||23|
|12||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1m11.3970s||+0.9620s||20|
|13||Salvador de Alba||JHDD||1m11.4079s||+0.9729s||22|
|14||Matt Round-Garrido||Exclusive Autosport||1m11.4232s||+0.9882s||22|
|15||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m11.6278s||+1.1928s||21|
|16||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||1m12.0665s||+1.6315s||20|