USF2000 and USF Juniors both held their official post-season tests at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend.
The two series used the road course of the iconic venue, since no junior single-seater series race on the oval anymore, and testing was split into six sessions. The first two of each day lasted 35 minutes, with a half-hour session following.
Lucas Oil Formula Car Race Series champion Hudson Shwartz was the pacesetter from the off in USF2000, the Pabst Racing driver topping session one with a 1m26.2278s laptime that put him a third of a second clear of everyone else.
Session two was slightly slower, but Shwartz was on top again with a 1m26.6545s, and session three was even slower than that and this time Velocity Racing Development’s Sam Corry topped the timesheet by 0.0029s over Exclusive Autosport’s Joey Brienza and 0.0625s over Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Elliot Cox.
Laptimes improved on Sunday and Schwartz returned to the top in the day’s first session with a 1m25.8372s. Brienza was 0.2067s behind in second place, and Pabst’s Max Garcia was a further 0.0048s slower in third.
Garcia edged Shwartz to the fastest time in the next session by 0.0261s, with his fastest lap putting him second overall in the test. Corry went third fastest, with his laptime placing him fourth in the end-of-test combined timesheet.
The final session was the closest yet, but once again Shwartz was fastest. He pipped Cox by 0.0239s and Pabst team-mate Jason Pribyl by 0.0285s, with Brienza and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Evagoras Papasavvas completing a top five covered by 0.0951s. Garcia and JHDD’s Michael Costello were only 0.15s off the pace in sixth and seventh.
Radical sportscar racer Evan Cooley (who has been doing single-seater testing in Road to Indy cars for several months) was fastest in USF Juniors’ first test session, the DEForce Racing driver setting a 1m31.5594s to pip Exclusive Autosport’s Jack Jeffers by 0.0106s.
Another DEForce driver led the way in session two, with Brady Golan lowering the pace to 1m30.5127s. His team-mate Jeshua Alianell, who is currently second in the Skip Barber Formula Race Series, was second fastest while Jeffers and DEForce’s Bruno Ribeiro also lapped sub-1m31s.
Jeffers was the only driver to achieve that in session three, improving to 1m30.8439s, then also the only one to lap in the 1m29s during Sunday’s first session.
He improved by another quarter of a second in the next one. His 1m29.2054s lap was over half a second faster than anyone else managed to achieve, with Alianell and Golan his closest rival.
Jeffers made it four out of six sessions on top by being the only driver to go sub-1m30s once again in the final half-hour of the test. In the end nine tenths of a second covered the top six drivers, with 13 taking part.
1 Hudson Schwartz Pabst Racing 1m25.8372s
2 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +0.1719s
3 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport +0.2067s
4 Sam Corry Velocity Racing Development +0.2897s
5 Max Taylor Velocity Racing Development +0.3532s
6 Jason Pribyl Pabst Racing +0.3760s
7 Elliot Cox SFHR +0.5224s
8 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD +0.5936s
9 Michael Costello JHDD +0.6519s
10 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing +0.7459s
1 Jack Jeffers Exclusive Autosport 1m29.2054s
2 Jeshua Alianell DEForce Racing +0.5502s
3 Brady Golan DEForce Racing +0.5890s
4 Ayden Ingratta JHDD +0.6121s
5 Bruno Ribeiro DEForce Racing +0.7228s
6 Evan Cooley DEForce Racing +0.9093s
7 G3 Argyros JHDD +1.1684s
8 Andre Lagartixa Velocity Racing Development +1.1765s s6
9 Timothy Carel JHDD +1.2374s
10 Aiden Potter JHDD +1.2674s s6