Christian Weir Lands First USF2000 Pole and Podium at Barber Motorsports Park
Kohlbecker Scores Another Top-Ten Finish and Valuable Championship Points
Leeds, Ala. (May 3, 2022) – It was a weekend of firsts for Christian Weir as the 15-year-old proved his championship contender status by landing his first Cooper Tires Pole Award and subsequent podium finish in Race 2 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship at Barber Motorsports Park this past weekend. The pole position was not only the first for Weir, but also the maiden USF2000 Series pole for Turn 3 Motorsport.
Weir qualified the #32 car on row four for Race 1, and by the end of the first lap had already improved to seventh. As the laps counted on, the field settled into position, and Weir maintained a seventh place finish in a green-to-checkers event.
After qualifying on pole for Race 2, Sunday’s events faced a slight rain delay before commencing later in the morning. Taking the lead starting spot ahead of a highly competitive field, Weir held onto P1 in the opening turns but fell back two positions after slight contact in Turn 5, resulting in a third place finish and the Naperville, Illinois resident’s first podium in the USF2000 Series.
#32 Christian Weir // USF2000
ProFlo / Ferguson / eComfort.com
“It was a weekend of firsts for me,” said Weir. “The first race of the weekend was good. We were able to stay out of trouble, move forward, and gain experience going into the second race. What a great feeling it was to get my first pole position in Qualifying 2! I knew starting Race 2 from the front was going to be tough, and I think if I was able to avoid the contact on the opening lap, we could have scored our first win, but I’m so happy to come out of the weekend with my first podium in USF2000. I can’t wait to try and carry this momentum into Indy in just a couple of weeks. On to the next one!”
Weir came out of the weekend eighth overall in the driver’s championship with 55 total points.
Teammate Spike Kohlbecker had his work cut out for him after qualifying 12th for Race 1 on a circuit that is notoriously difficult to overtake on. With the challenge ahead of him, the St. Louis native took off as the green flag fell, improving to 11th, then 10th in the opening few laps. At the end of the 20-lap contest, Kohlbecker delivered a P10 finish for the #33 Turn 3 Motorsport w/ Ignite Autosport entry.
Kohlbecker started on row seven for Race 2, and after a short rain delay, things got underway with the reigning Rookie of the Year shooting up to P11. Unfortunately, slight contact damaged the #33 car, costing him a couple of positions and forcing him to restart his fight for a top-ten finish. The shortened Race 2 came to an end after just 17 laps with Kohlbecker taking home an 11th place finish to round out the weekend.
#33 Spike Kohlbecker // USF2000
Ignite Autosport / Margay Racing / TierPoint / PSL / RSolution / TrueTitle / Ruckus Racing / Messmer Cares / Alvear / Cfx
“I think overall Barber Motorsports Park was a good learning point for us,” said Kohlbecker. “I did not have the results I wanted, but that’s okay. I’m going to keep working and pushing to get to where we should be. I’m looking forward to racing again at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course two weeks.”
Turn 3 Motorsport Team Owner
“It was a solid weekend for our USF2000 team,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “Christian delivered in Qualifying 2 and gave himself an opportunity to compete at the front for the first time. He did a great job in the race matching the leader’s pace. He now knows he can compete at the level required which is a huge boost to his confidence.”
“It was a tough weekend for Spike not reaching the potential we expected, and qualifying outside the top ten at Barber, it’s always tough to move forward,” continued Dempsey. “His race pace was actually very good; they were his best sessions of the weekend. Unfortunately, he couldn’t show much being stuck in the back. We will shift our focus to Indy GP now and aim to get both cars at the front.”
The USF2000 series is back on track for the first tripleheader event of the season at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course circuit from May 12-14.
To stay up to date on Turn 3 Motorsport, follow the team on social media using the handle @turn3motorsport.
Photos: Gavin Baker / Road to Indy