St Pete USF2000: Megennis, Thompson earn poles
Series sophomores Robert Megennis and Parker Thompson were fastest around the 1.8-mile St. Petersburg street/airport course in the two qualifying sessions to set the grids for this weekend’s opening two rounds of 2017.
Megennis sent Team Pelfrey back to prominence in USF2000 with a 1min15.371sec lap that put him 0.1sec ahead of Pabst Racing’s Calvin Ming and earned pole for tomorrow morning’s first race, which will mark the debut of the Tatuus USF-17 Mazda.
Former karting star Oliver Askew, driving for Cape Motorsports – USF2000’s most dominant team for the past several years – was third fastest while Dakota Dickerson put Newman Wachs Racing team fourth on the team’s return to junior open-wheel racing.
Kaylen Frederick made it two Pelfrey cars in the top five, while Exclusive Autosport also impressed on its series debut with last year’s championship runner-up Parker Thompson clocking sixth.
Andre Castro (Newman Wachs Racing), Moises de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Luke Gabin (Exclusive) and Kory Enders (DEForce) completed the Top 10.
Having been solidly quick in Q1, Thompson (amazingly) reproduced Megennis’ pole time in Q2 to take pole for Exclusive Autosport on its opening weekend. Saturday afternoon’s race will also see Cape make its first front row start of the USF-17 era, courtesy of Askew’s 1min15.499sec, 0.13 from pole.
Rinus VeeKay was Pabst’s fastest representative in second qualifying, with Dickerson again shining for Newman Wachs, and the other polesitter, Megennis, starting fifth.
De La Vara, Frederick, Enders, Lucas Kohl (Pabst) and Ayla Agren (Pelfrey) took the remaining Top 10 times in the 21-car field.
Rinus VeeKay signs for Pabst as Carlin withdraws
St Pete USF2000: Megennis scores first win of new era