Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

MRTI: Franzoni scores Pro Mazda Race 2 pole in wet qualifying

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – A wet qualifying session for Race 2 of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at Watkins Glen saw Victor Franzoni again score pole, his second of the weekend, giving him a weekend sweep of qualifying. It also sees him increase his championship lead over Martin to nine entering the final race of the season.

Carlos Cunha qualified second, while Franzoni’s title rival Anthony Martin qualified third, provisionally. Nikita Lastochkin and Kris Wright completed the top five.

Things went from bad to worse for Martin ahead of tomorrow’s race, as he was later assessed a two-spot grid penalty for running the checkered flag. That sees him drop back to fifth on the official grid as Lastochkin and Wright were moved forward.

The wet qualifying session was problematic for a handful of drivers, especially in the early minutes. Martin brushed the wall in Turn 11 and Sting Ray Robb spun as well, but both drivers were able to continue. However, TJ Fischer spun exiting the bus stop and impacted the wall, bringing out a red flag before any drivers were able to record flying laps. Fischer was not credited with a timed lap and will start 13th.

Also of note: Robert Megennis will not participate in Race 2. Megennis was involved in a Race 1 crash with teammate Lastochkin that took both cars out of the race.

Qualifying results are below. Race 2 begins at 7:55 a.m. on Sunday morning.


Newgarden fastest as Castroneves returns in weather-shortened Barber test

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The Verizon IndyCar Series took to Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday for an open test, with 24 entries tackling the 2.38-mile road course.

Weather intervened in the afternoon, preventing nearly the entire field from going out, but the weather held off during the morning enough for one session to be run in its entirety.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden led the way, with a quick lap of 1:07.979, ahead of Team Penske teammates Will Power and Helio Castroneves. For Castroneves, this marked his first IndyCar outing of 2018.

Helio Castroneves was back in an IndyCar on Tuesday at Barber Motorsports Park. Photo: IndyCar

Sporting the Pennzoil “yellow submarine” paint scheme, Castroneves turned 41 laps around Barber in the morning session, with a quick lap of 1:08.315. He was also the only driver to venture out on track in the afternoon, completing eight laps.

The Dale Coyne Racing duo of Sebastien Bourdais and Zachary Claman De Melo completed the top five.

Results are below.