Home News Road America USF Pro 2000 poles go to Hughes, Sikes and Brooks

Road America USF Pro 2000 poles go to Hughes, Sikes and Brooks

by Formula Scout

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Lochie Hughes has been the USF Pro 2000 pacesetter so far at Road America, but will share the honours of pole position with rivals Simon Sikes and Christian Brooks.

Two pre-event test sessions on Thursday were followed by free practice early on Friday morning.

Jay Howard Driver Development’s Frankie Mossman topped the opening test session, setting a 2m03.4577s to lead BN Racing’s Ricardo Escotto by 0.388 seconds. Turn 3 Motorsport’s Lochie Hughes and Pabst Racing’s Christian Brooks were 0.4386s and 0.4516s behind, with the only other two drivers within a second of the pace being Pabst’s Simon Sikes and BN’s Nicolas Baptiste.

There was a 0.7449s gap between seventh and 19th place, with all of those drivers within two seconds of Mossman.

Hughes lowered the pace to 2m03.3021s in session two, with Mossman second fastest but going slower than before. Brooks was 0.5473s behind in third, with Turn 3’s Danny Dyszelski 0.6072s back in fourth. Escotto, Sikes and Pabst’s Jace Denmark completed a top seven covered by 0.9924s. Velocity Racing Development’s points leader Nikita Johnson was 1.3487s off the test pace in 12th overall.

On Friday morning, Hughes went slightly faster still in practice with a best of 2m03.2978s. That was 0.6238s faster than second-placed Jorge Garciarce of DEForce Racing, with Mossman third and Mac Clark fourth, also for DEForce. Escotto, Denmark, Sikes and Johnson completed the top eight.

In qualifying, Sikes was the first driver to better the practice benchmark, and then the first to get below 2m03s when he improved to a 2m02.9136s with three minutes remaining.

Hughes continued to improve his times but did not look like he would better Sikes until he pulled out a 2m02.6851s with his final lap to claim pole by 0.2285s.

Mossman, who went on track later than his rivals, leapt up to third at the end ahead of Dyszelski, Escotto and Denmark.

Times did not get as low in the second qualifying session held a couple of hours later. Hughes sat on top when the chequered flag came out, but Sikes this time turned the tables with a late effort of 2m03.0340s.

Brooks then slotted into second place, three tenths of a second down on Sikes, pushing Hughes back to third.

Brooks also claimed race three pole, his second-best time just 0.019s faster than Hughes’ and 0.058s quicker than Sikes’.

Braden Eves set the pace early on in the first session but ended up 11th, while Johnson was only 14th – and both will start all three of the weekend’s races outside the top 10.

Qualifying round-up
Race 1 grid
1 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport 2m02.6851
2 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +0.2285s
3 Frankie Mossman Jay Howard Driver Development +0.3890s
4 Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport +0.5390s
5 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +0.8310s
6 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +0.8515s
7 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +0.9851s
8 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +1.0458s
9 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +1.1099s
10 Liam Sceats TJ Speed Motorsports +1.1568s

Race 2 grid
1 Sikes 2m03.0340s
2 Brooks +0.306s
3 Hughes +0.358s
4 Clark +0.510s
5 Escotto +0.784s
6 Dyszelski +0.800s
7 Mossman +0.862s
8 Denmark +1.094s
9 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +1.440s
10 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +1.471s

Race 3 grid
1 Brooks 2m03.4036s
2 Hughes +0.019s
3 Sikes +0.058s
4 Clark +0.309s
5 Dyszelski +0.524s
6 Escotto +0.538s
7 Mossman +0.769s
8 Denmark +0.975s
9 Baptiste +1.119s
10 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +1.239s