It was a tough day for many drivers across every series on the streets of Toronto Friday afternoon, and in the end it could be safe to say that the big winner of the day was the 11-turn, 1.755-mile circuit itself.
The track proved to be a difficult beast as incidents marred most of the practice sessions, and broken race cars and tire marks along the concrete walls show how far onto the edge the drivers tried to go in order to find speed.
That was true in the Team Cooper Tire USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, as three red flags in the two practice sessions cut short what was already precious little practice time the series had to work with.
John Cummiskey Racing driver Lucas Kohl was able to avoid the pitfalls on the track, and thankfully brought a clean car back to the paddock after each practice session. But a mechanical gremlin foiled the No. 34 Bellko car in Session 2, and the 18-year-old Brazilian posted the 15th-best time in the session in 1 minute, 17.1744 seconds for an average speed of 83.313 mph.
Early on in the session, the car developed a misfire that brought the car to the pits. The JCR crew determined that it was a bad spark plug wire, and tried to make a quick repair. Kohl took back to the track, but the problem persisted, and he completed just nine laps in the session.
Fortunately it is an easy fix when not done during a live practice session, and the results from Friday left Kohl with a lot of confidence heading into Saturday’s qualifying session, which starts at 7:25 a.m. (EDT) and Race 1, which will go off at 11:30 a.m.
“I like the track,” Kohl said. “I think the car has a good setup, and once we fix the problem we’ll get a good (qualifying lap) out of it. The car is feeling good, and I think we will be really fast.”
Despite very little experience on street courses — St. Pete earlier in the year was his first time on one — Kohl seems to have taken to them well. In Race 2 back in March, he passed the more cars than any other driver in the field (eight), and Friday was one of the faster cars in the field in several segments of the course.
“You need to be aggressive, with stuff like turning in and getting back onto the power, which is my style,” Kohl said. “I like it a lot.”
Kohl enters the weekend with three Top 10 finishes in his last five races.