Madison, Ill. (August 22, 2021) – Turn 3 Motorsport’s James Roe had an impressive weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway, securing his first ever pole position and finishing fourth in the Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Oval Challenge of St. Louis.
Friday’s official practice session saw the rookie place second overall prior to qualifying that afternoon. Knowing he had one of the quickest cars in the field, the Irishman put it all out there in qualifying, laying down an average speed of 139.081 and sending him to the top of the ranks. As each car attempted to best his time, Roe held strong until the checkers, winning a well-earned pole position for himself and Turn 3 Motorsport.
In the race, Roe got a great jump at the start and led the pack through the first two corners until the #91 car of Braden Eves slipped to the bottom of the track and passed for the lead. Shortly after, an incident between two other cars brought out a lengthy yellow flag that set the field up for an eventual restart on lap 19.
On the restart, Roe made a move for the lead that didn’t quite pay off and lost momentum, allowing the two cars on his tail to take advantage and overtake for P2 and P3. Despite the setback, Roe continued to chase the competition for the remaining laps and ultimately brought the #3 Topcon/Trintech car home just outside the podium in fourth, his best finish of the season to date.
Indy Pro 2000 Championship // #3 James Roe // Topcon/Trintech
“Overall it was an awesome weekend,” said James Roe. “We worked really hard on the on the car throughout practice and found a sweet spot for our qualifying set up. It was truly a team effort; every member did their job, and I did mine which put us on pole position. It was an amazing feeling. The race was not ideal, however, we were fighting for the race win. The safety car period hurt us for time, then on the restart, I got a run on the leader and had to try make a move but lost some momentum on the tighter inside line, and as a result the P3/P4 guys got by. I’m still happy to have finished fourth, and I’m just delighted for the team and partners that the raw speed was shown and we were back fighting for wins.”
“I’m very proud of my team,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “This weekend we all pulled together and gave James the tools to get the job done. This has been a long time coming, and we always seem to be on the wrong side of the breaks. Finally, we had an extremely strong weekend with our first pole and James’ best result of the season.”
“James raced really well for only his second ever oval race,” continued Dempsey. “He did a great job at the start then got a great restart, but he was a little unlucky with his move for the lead and lost momentum, falling back to P4. He was mistake-free from that point on and did a great job to bring the car back home and allow us to prep and get the cars ready for New Jersey this week with no problems. Results like these are what make our team stronger, and we are pushing as hard as we can through the rest of the season to fight for wins and podiums across both series.”
The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires along with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship continues on next week at New Jersey Motorsports Park for Rounds 14/15/16.