After two test sessions on Thursday that saw a mixed bag of weather, Radical racers hit the famed Barber Motorsports Park Friday morning for qualifying for the second event weekend of the Blue Marble Radical Cup North America program. With a new day that featured sunny skies and muggy conditions, two on-track sessions took place prior to the start of the NTT IndyCar Series including qualifying that set the grid for the first wheel-to-wheel action taking place early in the afternoon.
“What a change in weather from day to day,” explained Radical Cup’s Tom Drewer. “Glad that we were able to get the rain out of the way during practice and the weather looks good for the rest of this beautiful weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.”
Leading the way in qualifying, Steve Jenks (Group-A Racing) earned the Platinum class pole position by a scant 0.005s over Indy Al Miller (ONE Motorsport). Just over a tenth of a second back in P3 was former American Le Mans driver Jon Field (ONE Motorsport) as Louis Schriber (RYNO Racing) and Alain Derzie (ONE Motorsport) rounded out the top five.
Triple race winner Danny Dyszelski (WISKO Racing) outpaced Nick Persing (Cameron Racing) to score the Pro 1500 class pole position by just over 0.3s of a second to remain perfect on the season. Robert Soroko (RySpec Racing) was able to slot his machine into the third position in class, just ahead of Gregg Gorski (ONE Motorsport) and Canadian Austin Riley (Racing With Autism).
Series newcomer and USF Pro Championships competitor Bijoy Garg (Team Stradale) claimed the quickest time on the Pro 1340 qualifying session as another young gun, Jake Cowden (RySpec Racing) earned a front-row starting spot in class with a second-place effort. Round three winner, Jace Bacon (Crown with Apex) just beat Ben Blander for P3 as the pair would occupy row two for the start of race one, with Seth Bacon (Crown With Apex) lining up in fifth, directly behind his son in third.
With the first green flag flying just after noon, it was Jon Field who scored the top step of the podium moving from third to first in the 25-lap race despite not turning the fastest race lap as that honor went to Louis Schriber. It was Alan Miller who was the best of the rest climbing to the second step on the podium just 1.314s behind Field. Behind Miller, Steve Jenks earned the third and final step on the podium falling from his pole position starting spot to third. Schriber was able to convert his fastest race lap into a P4 finishing as he maintained his starting position just ahead of Alain Derzie in fifth.
Remaining perfect on the season, WISKO Racing’s Danny Dyszelski romped the field taking his fourth straight race win as well as the fastest lap of the race. More than half a second faster than his closest competitor, Dyszelski was 5.633s ahead of the second-place finisher of Nick Persing. Persing, who added his third podium finish in four races, narrowly beat Gregg Gorski for the second step on the block as the pair ensued in a hard-fought battle for much of the race. Gorski was just ahead of Soroka who fell one position throughout the affair. Aurora Straus (ONE Motorsport) was one of the Pro 1500 biggest movers improving from her eighth-place qualifying effort and finishing fifth on the charts.
It was Jake Cowden that stole the Pro 1340 win disposing of pole position winner and early race leader Bijoy Garg. Taking the lead late in the race, Cowden, in his first race win in his series debut, was just ahead of fellow debutant Garg. Behind them, in a distant third was Ben Blander who was more than 30s in arrears of the top two but improved through the race gaining one position to stand on the podium. Ken Savage and round three winner Seth Bacon completed the top five.
Drewer added, “A great day of racing and looking forward to two more epic races tomorrow. A huge congratulations to David Alban who earned the Sunoco Hard Charger of the Race Award.”
9:00am – 9:45am – Race 2
3:35pm – 4:30pm – Race 3
Follow along Saturday via Live Time HERE. Qualifying and wheel-to-wheel races will be live streamed HERE.
Be sure to stay tuned to the Blue Marble Radical Cup social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from the event weekend.
Blue Marble Radical Cup events are open to all local and regional Radical racers with eligible cars to participate. More information, including links to register for events and obtain licensing, can be found at www.radicalmotorsport.com. Please stay tuned to the Blue Marble Radical Cup North America social media pages for news and updates from the 2023 season.