Nolan Siegel of DEForce Racing today became the first two-time winner in 2022 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires competition. The youngest driver in the field at 17, Siegel romped to a flag-to-flag victory in Race 2 of the Andersen Interior Contracting Grand Prix of Alabama held at Barber Motorsports Park, and now holds a five-point lead in a closely fought title chase.
Last year’s championship runner-up Braden Eves of Jay Howard Driver Development finished second with Englishman Louis Foster rounding out the podium for Exclusive Autosport.
Siegel, who claimed his second Cooper Tires Pole Award yesterday, was in command from the drop of the green flag but all eyes were on a tremendous race-long battle between Eves and Foster, who made a fantastic start to vault from sixth on the grid to third, behind front row qualifier Eves.
Foster made numerous attempts to displace Eves, favoring an attempt in Turn Five, but Eves was flawless under pressure. The battle allowed Siegel a bit of breathing room as he turned incredibly consistent lap times throughout the majority of the 30-lap race. He took the checkered flag with a 0.7522s advantage earning bonus points for pole and most laps led as well as another PFC Award for team owners David and Ernesto Martinez.
“This is great. It’s been a difficult weekend for the team so to end it with a win is fantastic. It’s really hard to pass here so it was great to be on pole and lead the first few laps. After that, it was all about consistent laps. It can be difficult to be out in front like that, especially after the IndyCar race and all their rubber. It was about feeling it out for those first few laps.
“It’s been a good start to the season. I think it was so important for me to be with the same team, the same engineer, the same mechanics. It’s all about building on the foundation from last year. Now, we just keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Foster, who claimed his third podium of the year, earned an additional point for fastest race lap.
Enaam Ahmed of Juncos Hollinger Racing finished fourth — his third top-four finish of the season — with Reece Gold rounding out the top five after his flag-to-flag victory yesterday.
In addition to Foster, Salvador De Alba was another driver to make a masterful start on the 2.3-mile road course. De Alba, in his first season of Indy Pro 2000 competition, vaulted from 14th to ninth on the opening lap and later gained another spot when Jordan Missig (Pabst Racing), who qualified 10th, spun in the early stages. With a gain of six positions, De Alba picked up his first Tilton Hard Charger Award for Jay Howard Driver Development.
In the 92 total laps completed at Barber Motorsports Park, between the Indy Pro 2000 series and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, only one lap was turned under yellow.
Indy Pro 2000 will return to competition for Rounds 5-6-7 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on May 12-14.
Provisional points after 4 of 18 rounds:
1. Nolan Siegel, 96
2. Louis Foster, 91
3. Braden Eves, 83
4. Reece Gold, 74
5. Enaam Ahmed, 74
6. Josh Green, 72
7. Kiko Porto, 61
8. Colin Kaminsky, 50
9. Jack William Miller, 47
10. Wyatt Brichacek, 43 / Yuven Sundaramoorthy 43