Road to Indy
October 21, 2019 | 4:00 PM
Danish ace Christian Rasmussen carried on Sunday from where he left off Saturday by completing a clean sweep of the weekend for Jay Howard Driver Development.
Rasmussen, 19, didn’t quite match his best time from the second session on Saturday when he posted a best of 1:24.9311 for the 2.439-mile road course, (an average speed of 103.383 mph) but he remained the only one among 17 drivers to dip underneath the 1:25 barrier during the weekend. Rasmussen’s fastest time this morning was 1:24.9540s.
“To be quickest in all six sessions really adds to our confidence going the 2020 season,” he said. “We didn’t have the best race weekend here this year so it’s very cool to go back and do a good job here this weekend. We gained so much data that we can use at all the races, working on setups: we did qualifying simulations, race simulations, everything.
“It’s amazing to get the opportunity to test this much here at IMS – it’s an amazing place to be, with all the history here. I’m very happy with the weekend; we have a really strong car now. There will undoubtedly be more new drivers coming into the series before the first race but this is a big confidence booster. We have to keep working at it, the same as we would if we hadn’t been this fast, and we’ll work at being this fast come next year.”
Yuven Sundaramoorthy, 16, from Oconomowoc, Wis., came closest for Pabst Racing, marking a significant improvement on Sunday morning by recording the second-fastest time of the test at 1:25.0542, merely 0.1002-second shy of Rasmussen’s best in the same session.
“This is a big confidence booster, to come here and do as well as I did,” said Sundaramoorthy. “Clearly, we still have some work to do to get to the top step but the team did a great job. It’s nice to come back here and see our development this season. Back in May, I was afraid to carry speed through the corners; now I’m able to do it with a lot less worry, with less early braking.
“I learned a lot this year, not just from Hunter (McElrea)’s championship run, but having him, Colin (Kaminsky) and Bruna (Tomaselli) there, coaching me. Their input really helped. It was good to see all that feedback at work this morning, setting my quick time of the weekend in the first session – and in front of (Indy 500 winner) Alexander Rossi, who was here to offer me encouragement. So thanks to Alexander and everyone at Pabst Racing, ST Motorsports, my family and friends for getting me here.”
Kiko Porto, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who currently lies second in the F4 United States Championship Powered by Honda, was a scant 0.0251-second further adrift in third place for DEForce Racing, also making steady improvements during the two-day test outing.
“This is my second time in a USF2000 car and I like it a lot,” said Porto. “There are so many good drivers here, so I am happy with my times. I learned so much this weekend ahead of the 2020 season, since I intend to be in the series next year. This is such a fun track, I’ve driven it a lot on the simulator – it’s slower on the simulator, but the grip and the braking points are similar.
“Six sessions was a lot, I really learned a lot about my style of driving and did a lot of setup work with the team. I need to do different things to drive this car as opposed to the F4 car and this weekend really helped me to do that.”
Teenaged Dutchman Rick Bouthoorn continued to impress aboard a second Pabst Racing Tatuus USF-17. Bouthoorn, who was introduced to the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires by fellow countryman VeeKay, ended the weekend with the fourth-fastest time, narrowly edging out Brazilian second-generation racer Eduardo Barrichello (DEForce Racing).
The lap times of the top five contenders were blanketed by less than 0.2 second, which bodes well for another exciting season of USF2000 competition in 2020, while the top 10 were completed by Wyatt Brichacek (Jay Howard Driver Development), from Johnstown, Colo., Reece Gold (Cape Motorsports), from Miami, Fla., Jack William Miller (Miller Vinatieri Motorsports), from Westfield, Ind., Nolan Siegel (Newman Wachs Racing), from Palo Alto, Calif., and Viktor Andersson (HMD Motorsports), from Linkoping, Sweden.
Content and image by Road to Indy.