Having topped all five testing sessions of the weekend, Malaysian Weiron Tan raised no eyebrows by claiming pole position for the Pro Mazda race at NOLA Motorsports Park.
After several changes in the lead, Tan stormed to the top at around midway through the session and then improved further to put himself out of reach for his rivals.
Team Pelfrey’s Santiago Urrutia, another refugee of the European single-seater scene, was Tan’s closest challenger with a time just 0.15s slower.
Reigning USF2000 champion Florian Latorre made a late jump to third, narrowly edging out fellow Frenchman Timothe Buret and 15-year-old Mexican Patricio O’Ward.
Sixth, seventh and eighth positions all went to Juncos Racing drivers – Garrett Grist, Jose Gutierrez and Will Owen.
The championship leader and the sole race-winner of the 2015 season Neil Alberico had a low-key session as he spent most of the running outside the top ten and had to settle for ninth at the end. Formula Renault 2.0 NEC graduate Raoul Owens completed the top ten.