DEForce Racing’s Kiko Porto kicked things off in the renamed USF Pro 2000 series by topping free practice in St. Petersburg.
Jay Howard Driver Development’s Reece Ushijima set the pace early on, with Porto coming to the fore with a 1m11.5562s lap.
Ushijima was shuffled down to third by TJ Speed’s Lirim Zendeli, who was just 0.02 seconds slower than Porto, then with nine minutes to go of the session the pacesetter lowered the pace down to 1m10.9099s.
Several other drivers also improved, with TJ Speed’s Francesco Pizzi slotting into second place with a 1m11.3953s lap and Turn 3 Motorsport’s Christian Brooks knocking Ushijima down to fifth.
Ushjima rebounded to go third fastest, but had been shuffled down to ninth with three minutes to go as practice was brought to an end three minutes early due to red flags.
Zendeli had reclaimed second before the session stopped, going 0.2892s slower than Porto, and reigning USF2000 champion Michael d’Orlando was third fastest and 0.3s behind.
USF2000 was next on track for its practice session, and had even more drama than USFP2000 as strong winds hit the street circuit.
Zack Ping was fastest at first in a late change of plans. His brother Noah had initially been set to race for Velocity Racing Development, but recently signed a deal to race in GB3 instead and so Zack inherited his USF2000 drive.
DEForce’s Mac Clark was next to the top, two tenths clear of Nikita Johnson and over 0.6s clear of everyone else, while Nicholas d’Orlando caused the first red flag stoppage.
Pabst’s Simon Sikes went fastest as the pace dropped down into the 1m15s, ahead of Sam Corry and Clark before the latter improved to get within 0.1828s of the top.
Johnson then knocked both down a spot by joining Sikes in the 1m15.3s before red flags were waved again as Corry and Trey Burke went side-by-side into turn four and ended up in the barriers.
Corry only had to replace a front wing and was able to get on track again once practice restarted, and he went third fastest as Sikes lapped in the 1m14s and Lochie Hughes rose up to second.
Johnson was shuffled to fifth by Evagoras Papasavvas, then there was then another stoppage in the final three minutes. But the session was able to restart in time for the field to go back out for one flying lap.
There was no change at the top of the timesheet and it meant Sikes ended the session fastest, but Gordon Scully managed to crash and lose his rear wing as the chequered flag waved.
USFP2000 practice results
|1||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||1m10.9099s||15|
|2||Lirim Zendeli||TJ Speed||1m11.1991s||+0.2892s||16|
|3||Michael d’Orlando||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m11.2102s||+0.3003s||13|
|4||Myles Rowe||Pabst Racing||1m11.3453s||+0.4354s||16|
|5||Francesco Pizzi||TJ Speed||1m11.3953s||+0.4854s||16|
|6||Christian Brooks||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m11.3983s||+0.4884s||16|
|7||Jordan Missig||Pabst Racing||1m11.4026s||+0.4927s||16|
|8||Joel Granfors||Exclusive Autosport||1m11.4596s||+0.5497s||16|
|10||Christian Weir||TJ Speed||1m11.5735s||+0.6636s||15|
|11||Jace Denmark||Pabst Racing||1m11.5806s||+0.6707s||16|
|12||Jonathan Browne||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m11.6147s||+0.7048s||16|
|13||Salvador De Alba||Exclusive Autosport||1m11.7398s||+0.8299s||17|
|14||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Exclusive Autosport||1m11.8917s||+0.9818s||16|
|15||Jack William Miller||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||1m11.9363s||+1.0264s||14|
|16||Bijoy Garg||DEForce Racing||1m12.1106s||+1.2007s||15|
|17||Nicholas Monteiro||NeoTech Motorsport||1m12.5684s||+1.6585s||16|
|19||Jackson Lee||Turn 3 Motorsport||1m12.9146s||+2.0047s||14|
|20||Lindsay Brewer||Exclusive Autosport||1m13.6817s||+2.7718s||14|