Home Road to IndyIndy Pro 2000 Pato O’Ward claims first Pro Mazda pole at St. Petersburg

Pato O’Ward claims first Pro Mazda pole at St. Petersburg

by R.J. O'Connell
Patricio O'Ward

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Patricio O’Ward led a Team Pelfrey lockout of the front row for the first Pro Mazda Championship race at St. Petersburg, ahead of rookie teammate Aaron Telitz.

O’Ward, who is only signed to Team Pelfrey through this round and the following round at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, turned the quickest lap at 1m11.572s. It is the Mexican-born driver’s first pole position in the category.

USF2000 graduate Telitz was less than a tenth of a second slower than his teammate, and will line up on the outside of the front row for Saturday morning’s opening race.

Telitz’s rivals from last year will line up on row two for their Pro Mazda debuts: USF2000 runner-up?Jake Eidson starts third, ahead of Cape Motorsports teammate and reigning USF2000 champion,?Nico Jamin.

Weiron Tan was fifth in a third Team Pelfrey entry, qualifying ahead of Australian rookie?Jake Parsons for Juncos Racing.

Will Owen qualified seventh,?Garrett Grist was eighth-fastest, and rookies?Jorge Cevallos and?Nicolas Dapero completed the top ten.

Bobby Eberle?edged out?Jay Horak to qualify eleventh-fastest overall, and fastest in the two-car Expert class.