Last year’s winner of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship, Denmark’s Christian Rasmussen, took his fourth win in the last five races of the 2021 Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, for Jay Howard Driver Development at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the US.
Artem Petrov, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, chased Rasmussen every inch of the way, finishing less than a second behind after a 25-lap race that comprised the opening half of the double-header Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports), from Louisville, Ky., overtook New Zealander Hunter McElrea with three laps remaining to cement the final podium position.
McElrea and Abel had been fighting over third, with McElrea holding sway until Lap 23, when Abel managed to sneak alongside in Turn Four. McElrea resumed in fourth after a grassy moment, and still finished clear of local driver Braden Eves (Exclusive Autosport), from New Albany, Ohio, who now trails Rasmussen by 34 points in the championship with only seven races remaining.
After a disappointing end to his race, McElrea will have an opportunity to bounce back in tomorrow’s second race of the weekend, which he will start from pole position after posting the fastest time during a separate qualifying session earlier this morning. The green flag is slated for 9:00 a.m. EDT.
Provisional championship points after 11 of 18 rounds:
1/ Christian Rasmussen, 289
2/ Braden Eves, 255
3/ Reece Gold, 235
4/ Artem Petrov, 225
5/ Hunter McElrea, 199
6/ Manuel Sulaiman, 179
7/ Jacob Abel, 172
8/ Kyffin Simpson, 154
9/ James Roe, 117
10/ Wyatt Brichacek, 116