Lindh's Indy Pro 2000 clean sweep at IMS

Lindh's Indy Pro 2000 clean sweep at IMS

Road to Indy

Lindh's Indy Pro 2000 clean sweep at IMS


Rasmus Lindh enjoyed a perfect sweep of the Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis, leading throughout Saturday morning’s 25-lap race to finish just over two seconds clear of Juncos Racing teammate Sting Ray Robb.

Coming hot on the heels of his first-ever Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires win yesterday, the victory catapults the driver from Sweden into the championship lead ahead of Canadian Parker Thompson, who finished fifth.

Singapore’s Danial Frost, meanwhile, extended his streak of podium finishes to three following another strong drive for Exclusive Autosport.

Lindh, who started on pole for the second straight race after narrowly eclipsing his own Indy Pro 2000 qualifying lap record on Friday, took off confidently at the start. Behind, Kyle Kirkwood (RP Motorsport Racing USA) made a good getaway from third, briefly challenging for the lead as the field accelerated toward the tight Turn One. Kirkwood elected not to push the issue and instead attempted to tuck in behind Lindh, but his caution backfired when both Robb and Nikita Lastochkin (Exclusive Autosport) elbowed him aside making aggressive moves of their own to tag onto the leader’s tail.

In an instant, Kirkwood’s front wing was broken and he headed to pit lane for repairs. He resumed a lap down and showed what might have been by turning the fastest lap of the race — for the third race in a row — but could manage no better than 13th at the finish.

The only other driver able to challenge Juncos Racing’s dominance was Frost, who overcame a poor start to demote Lastochkin from third on lap two. Frost quickly closed onto Robb’s tail but was unable to find a way past. Still, his third consecutive third-place finish represented another substantial points haul.

Lastochkin finished a distant fourth, having been embroiled in a close battle with Guatamalan Ian Rodriguez, whose impressive debut weekend was sadly hindered by a mechanical problem which caused him to fall all the way to an unrepresentative 12th at the finish.

After sweeping both races at the St. Petersburg, Fla., opener in March, Thompson (Abel Motorsports) suffered a torrid weekend, although he was able to salvage a fifth-place finish and claim the Tilton Hard Charger Award after starting 13th. Along the way, Thompson engaged in a protracted scrap with Mexico’s Moises de la Vara, who produced his strongest drive to date for DEForce Racing, and teammate Jacob Abel.

Jacob Loomis (JDL Racing) also was embroiled in this battle, running sixth for much of the race before losing ground with a grassy excursion in Turn One on lap 20 following an aggressive pass by Thompson.

Ricardo Juncos earned another PFC Award as the winning team owner.

The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will remain in the Indianapolis area for Round Five – the Cooper Tires Freedom 90 – which will take place at Lucas Oil Raceway in nearby Brownsburg, Ind., on May 24.