It was a busy day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for USF Pro 2000 and USF2000 on Thursday, as both series took to the track’s road course for testing and free practice.
Both series had two test sessions consisting of an hour each, then there was a half-hour practice session for both before qualifying on Friday.
USF2000 started off the action in super-close style, with Pabst Racing’s Simon Sikes setting the pace with a 1m26.4937s lap but with three other drivers within a tenth of a second of him.
Jay Howard Driver Development’s Lochie Hughes was just 0.0466 seconds behind in second place, with Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson a further 0.0024s back in third place. Almost as close was DEForce Racing’s Mac Clark in fourth, as he was only 0.0541s off the pace.
The top 13 were covered by 0.9321s, and there were 16 drivers who posted laptimes while on track as four drivers went without putting their name on the timesheet.
Johnson lowered the pace to 1m26.1871s in session two, 0.0678s ahead of Hughes. Jut 0.0076s split Exclusive Autosport’s Chase Gardner and JHDD’s Evagoras Papasavvas (who had missed session one) in third and fourth.
This time 0.8431s covered the top 13, and only two of the 20 drivers were absent from the action.
USFP2000’s first test session ran between USF2000’s two, and Pabst’s Myles Rowe put in a 1m22.4242s in the middle of his run plan to be fastest by 0.1741s over Exclusive’s Joel Granfors.
Turn 3 Motorsport’s Michael d’Orlando was over 0.4s back in third place, but had five drivers who were within a tenth of his pace. Barely a tenth also split 12th to 16th, with DEForce’s Bijoy Garg only 0.7974s off the pace down in 16th. Nicholas Monteiro set out early on before bringing out red flags, and along with series returnee Charles Finelli failed to set a laptime.
DEForce’s Kiko Porto set a 1m22.2967s benchmark in the second test session, putting him 0.1149s clear of d’Orlando. He had Rowe 0.0114s behind him, and three other drivers who were also within a tenth of him. There was a 0.8907s spread in pace over the 16 drivers who set laps.
Heading back out on track afterwards was USF2000, and Johnson set the time to beat on just his second flying lap. He did three more laps after that but did not impove, however it was enough to stay on top by 0.0880s over Hughes whose best effort came on his penultimate lap.
Sikes did more than twice as many laps as Johnson and his final one put him in third place, 0.1228s off the top. All 20 drivers went out on track, with Exclusive Autosport’s Avery Towns slowest of all but setting the joint most laps of anyone at 20. He was 1.5322s slower than Sikes, with 0.9640s covering the top 14.
Porto only marginally beat his test pace in USFP2000 practice, but it was a similar story for many in the field and with a 1m22.2694s lap he was fastest by 0.3284s over d’Orlando. This time 0.9646s split the top 16.