Lexington, OH. (July 29, 2016) — After a great test and practice session at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex on Thursday, John Cummiskey Racing drivers Lucas Kohl and Ayla Agren had high hopes as Friday dawned with qualifying and Race 1 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
The day didn’t go as either necessarily hoped, as Kohl placed P9 and Agren was P10, but both Kohl and Agren believe that they have set a good foundation for the two races left this weekend (Saturday/Sunday).
“We had a good day on (Thursday), so it was a bit frustrating we couldn’t make it happen (Friday),” Agren said. “I know we have a good car, and I know I can do it (Agren won here in the F1600 series in 2014), we just have to put everything together.”
Agren, who missed the races in Toronto due to funding issues and was back in the No. 33 Energima car for the first time since Road America a month ago, qualified 12th (1:22.2645) but picked up two spots on the opening lap to move to 10th position.
But after a caution for the No. 80 car of Robert Megennis stopping on the track, Agren was pushed off the circuit in Turn 11 after the Lap 4 restart and fell back to 13th place. She was able to work her way back into the Top 10 and notched her seventh finish of P10 or better in her last eight races.
“I went off in (Turn 11) and that ruined my day,” Agren said. “The car is there, and things will tip our way soon. It will come.”
After fielding all sorts of challenges in Toronto, which included being spun out on the first lap of Race 2 that left him running the race with a flat right rear tire, Kohl’s day was very uneventful. The driver of the No. 34 Bellko car qualified 14th (1:22.4008) and made his moves on the two restarts, which was where he picked up his positions.
Kohl’s improvement of five positions from the start was the second-best in the field on the day. He was a bit disappointed that the race finished under yellow after Youfeng Luo made contact in Turn 9 that came to close to the finish of the 30-minute race, because even with one lap of green he felt he could have improved his position.
“It would have been fun if we could’ve had one more green lap,” Kohl said. “You have to look at the flag and go to power as quickly as you can, and then just push.”
Like his teammate, Kohl feels like the best is yet to come from the car this weekend.
“The car got better, but we still need a little more,” he said. “We know what we need to do, and I’m very comfortable for (Saturday).”
Race 2 will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, and Race 3 will go off at 9:45 a.m. Sunday. Agren will start Saturday’s race in P11, while Kohl will start P13.
Photo credits: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
Ayla Agren, No. 33 Energima
* Qualified 12th, Finished 10th
* Completed all 19 laps
* Will start Saturday’s Race 2 in the 11th position
Lucas Kohl, No. 34 Bellko
* Qualified 14th, Finished 9th
* Completed all 19 laps
* His 5-position improvement was second-best in the field