Guyana’s Calvin Ming was impressive in practice and qualifying for the Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires. The Pabst Racing rookie led the session with a quick lap of 1 minute 24.202 seconds and was followed closely by points leader Oliver Askew (Cape Motorsports) and Kaylen Frederick (Team Pelfrey), who were both within two-tenths of a second of Ming.
Different teams utilised differing tire strategies with a few teams, like Newman Wachs Racing and Benik, opting to bolt on a fresh set of Cooper Tire slicks at the end of the session.
Pabst Racing, Cape Motorsports, Team Pelfrey, and Exclusive Autosport, whose drivers turned eight of the top ten lap times all elected to run scuffed tires. In qualifying, Mazda championship leader Oliver Askew overcame a one-hour delay to win his very first Mazda Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tire pole.
“It’s fantastic,” exclaimed the Cape Motorsports rookie and MRTI $200K Scholarship Shootout winner, who’s quickest lap of one minute, 23.572 seconds was over three-tenths of a second ahead of Team Pelfrey rookie Kaylen Frederick, and four-tenths of a second ahead of Pabst Racing rookie Rinus Van Kalmthout.
Ming (Pabst Racing), Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey), Dakota Dickerson (Newman Wachs Racing), Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport) and Askew were the five quickest drivers half-way through the session and had lap times that were all within one-tenth of second of each other.
Race one is slated for Friday afternoon.