Pabst Racing continued to set the pace in the second USF2000 qualifying session at Sebring, with its drivers locking out the front row.
The team claimed a pole and two wins in USF Pro 2000 at the track earlier this weekend, and has now gone unbeaten in USF2000’s last three qualifying sessions courtesy of Simon Sikes.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing’s Elliot Cox was first to the top in Q2 ahead of Sikes and his 14-year-old team-mate Max Garcia, but Sikes moved ahead by 0.033 seconds when their second flying laps came in and with only half of the field out on track.
Sikes improved by three tenths of a second on his third lap, then Jay Howard Driver Development’s championship leader Lochie Hughes joined the action and his first lap put him in second place straight away.
They were both bettered by Cox’s third effort, a 2m05.578s, and Sikes responded with a 2m05.408s to reclaim first place. Hughes improved his pace but stayed in third, then a few minutes later Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson went just 0.076s slower than Sikes to jump up to second place.
Garcia then returned to third place before DC Autosport’s Ethan Ho posted a 2m05.346s that put him on provisional pole by 0.062s. Hughes subsequently lowered the pace by 0.317s, with DEForce Racing’s Mac Clark slotting in between them while Cox and Garcia were shuffled down to sixth and seventh.
Sikes returned to the top three with three-and-a-half minutes remaining, and his lap after that sent him back up to first. A 2m04.424s was not only the first sub-2m05s lap of the session but also a huge 0.605s faster than Hughes.
Garcia also improved and went fourth fastest, 0.793s slower than his team-mate, then after the chequered flag waved he found even more pace to qualify second behind Sikes for the second time this weekend. While the gap between them was 0.581s, it was still impressive for Garcia who had not raced single-seaters prior to this weekend.
A late improvement from Johnson meant he qualified sixth, with Cox and Papasavvas behind the final two drivers within a second of Sikes.
|1||Simon Sikes||Pabst Racing||2m04.424s||8|
|2||Max Garcia||Pabst Racing||2m05.005s||+0.581s||8|
|4||Mac Clark||DEForce Racing||2m05.169s||+0.745s||8|
|5||Ethan Ho||DC Autosport||2m05.346s||+0.922s||9|
|6||Nikita Johnson||Velocity Racing Development||2m05.370s||+0.946s||7|
|9||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||2m05.630s||+1.206s||8|
|10||Sam Corry||Velocity Racing Development||2m05.754s||+1.330s||7|
|11||Jorge Garciarce||DEForce Racing||2m06.000s||+1.576s||8|
|12||Zack Ping||Velocity Racing Development||2m06.098s||+1.674s||6|
|13||Chase Gardner||Exclusive Autosport||2m06.153s||+1.729s||6|
|15||Danny Dyszelski||Velocity Racing Development||2m06.681s||+2.257s||7|
|16||Gordon Scully||Velocity Racing Development||2m06.792s||+2.368s||7|
|18||Avery Towns||Exclusive Autosport||2m07.057s||+2.633s||9|
|19||Maxwell Jamieson||DEForce Racing||2m07.300s||+2.876s||8|