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Rowe bounces back in Toronto to take another USF Pro 2000 win

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Myles Rowe claimed his fifth win of the USF Pro 2000 season in race two on the streets of Toronto to extend his points lead.

The pace car was out on the opening lap as a big crash occurred at the first corner. Louka St.-Jean went into the rear of Christian Weir and sent him skyward, leaving no room on the outside as the cars just ahead turned in. That meant Joel Granfors and Ricardo Escotto squeezed together and collided with Weir’s car once it returned to the ground.

Jonathan Browne got caught behind them but avoided contact, only for St.-Jean to drive over the back of him. Escotto and Browne managed to get going again at the back of the field, while at the front Jace Denmark had moved from fourth to second behind poleman Rowe before the caution period was called.

Racing resumed on lap five of 25, and Denmark got the slipstream down to turn three and tried to pass Rowe on the outside. As Rowe drifted wide at the exit, Denmark lost his front wing and he dropped down the order before pitting.

Michael d’Orlando inherited second place, and had a big gap to Rowe in front and Turn 3 Motorsport team-mate Christian Brooks behind in third.

The top two pulled away, and the next bit of action came on lap 14 as fifth-placed Jordan Missig had closed in on Lirim Zendeli, who in turn had closed in on Brooks.

Both Zendeli and Missig thought about making moves at turn three on the next lap, which made their efforts redunant, but they co-ordinated it better on the lap after as both sliced down the inside of Brooks at the corner. However Missig then got loose at the next corner and dropped back behind Brooks.

Zendeli began to gap Brooks, and suddenly found himself rapidly closing in on d’Orlando. The race one winner had only been 0.6 seconds behind Rowe on lap 14, and four laps later he was six seconds back and being passed by the drivers who had been battling far behind.

Missig passed Brooks for third just after they demoted d’Orlando, and Brooks then had to resist Salvador de Alba and Franceco Pizzi.

While Rowe made up for his race-losing error on Saturday with a comfortable win, d’Orlando finished a minute off in 14th place. Browne, after the lap one drama, recovered to 10th.

Race result (25 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Myles Rowe Pabst Racing 33m20.3101s
2 Lirim Zendeli TJ Speed +4.4155s
3 Jordan Missig Pabst Racing +5.0104s
4 Christian Brooks Turn 3 Motorsport +8.1574s
5 Salvador de Alba Exclusive Autosport +8.3999s
6 Francesco Pizzi TJ Speed +8.5703s
7 Kiko Porto DEForce Racing +16.1572s
8 Yuven Sundaramoorthy Exclusive Autosport +16.7475s
9 Bijoy Garg DEForce Racing +22.7415s
10 Jonathan Browne Turn 3 Motorsport +23.5337s
11 Nicholas Monteiro NeoTech Motorsport +32.2380s
12 Lindsay Brewer Exclusive Autosport +38.4746s
13 Jack William Miller Miller Vinatieri Motorports +40.3686s
14 Michael d’Orlando Turn 3 Motorsport +59.1120s
15 Ricardo Escotto JHDD +1m00.5947s
16 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +3 laps
Ret Joel Granfors Exclusive Autosport
Ret Christian Weir TJ Speed
Ret Louka St.-Jean Turn 3 Motorsport
Fastest lap: Missig, 1m10.0023s

Championship standings
Rowe 299   2 Porto 218   3 de Alba 215   4 Granfors 208   5 d’Orlando 206   6 Pizzi 201   7 Zendeli 189   8 Denmark 182   9 Browne 169   10 Miller 158