Weir Earns Fourth Place Finish, Kohlbecker Two Sixth Place Results at IMS
Indianapolis, Ind. (May 16, 2022) – In the first triple-header event of the season for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway grand prix circuit, Turn 3 Motorsport drivers Spike Kohlbecker and Christian Weir came away from the weekend with some of their strongest results of the year thus far.
A disappointing qualifying session put Kohlbecker and Weir starting Race 1 in P13 and P14, respectively. Knowing they had the pace to be at the front, the duo set to work in a very exciting and action-packed Race 1. The pair took advantage of battles ahead of them to climb up to fifth and sixth on the .439-mile, 14-turn road course before a safety car came out on Lap 5.
On the Lap 9 restart, Kohlbecker and Weir became entangled in a three-way melee with the #10 car of Thomas Nepveu at the switchback in Turns 5 and 6 with Weir coming out ahead and taking P4 while Kohlbecker maintained P6. The race concluded just several laps later with Weir having gained 10 positions on track and earning his second best finish of the season and Kohlbecker improving seven positions to match his previous best result.
Race 2 used the drivers’ second fastest qualifying times for the starting lineup, placing Kohlbecker P11 and Weir P12. A good start put the #32 car of Weir up to P10 with the #33 car of Kohlbecker just behind him in P11. By the end of Lap 5, Weir had made his way up to eighth, but contact with the #19 car of Simon Sikes shortly after forced him to retire early, scoring P22. Kohlbecker continued to make gains throughout the remaining laps and ultimately crossed the finish line in P6.
Race 3 was another challenge for the Turn 3 Motorsport drivers as they once again had to start from mid-pack. After some fierce battles and all green lap racing, Kohlbecker ended up P10 while Weir came home in P12.
#33 Spike Kohlbecker // USF2000
“As I look over this weekend I have interesting emotions,” said Kohlbecker. “I had family and friends from all over come watch some of the best racing in the word. My grandpa who recently had heart surgery came to the event. I feel very lucky to have great people surrounding me. On another note, as a team we missed in qualifying. This put us on the back foot for the rest of the weekend. We ended up taking a big swing at setup for the races. Over the three races, we gained 13 positions. I think this weekend was very brutal. There were a lot of interesting overtakes and aggression shown. Our upcoming event is an oval which is probably the most mentally challenging track. I’m ready for it - bring it on!”
#32 Christian Weir // USF2000
“We had good pace throughout the weekend, but it seemed hard to show,” said Weir. “It was my first time around Indianapolis Motor Speedway but we still started out strongly. After missing the end of season test here last year, I feel like I missed valuable seat time around the technical layout. Going into qualifying, we were in a strong position but things didn’t go our way. Ending up outside of the top ten really hurt our chances for all races this weekend. But through some attrition, powerful passes, and pace, we were able to make our way up to fourth in Race 1. After this, we weren’t able to show those same results in Races 2 and 3, but coming out of the weekend, I know that I made some mistakes. Going into the next round at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park I have a lot to reflect on, but I’m ready for the challenge.”
Turn 3 Motorsport Team Owner
“Overall, it was an up and down weekend,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “The three race format always leads to exciting races, and we certainly had that. Qualifying put us on the back foot, but both drivers raced well in all three races. Christian was unlucky in Race 2 getting taken out by another driver. We need to focus on getting to the front in qualifying as it makes our lives easier; we proved this at the previous round at Barber Motorsports Park. Now we turn our focus to Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, and we will always aim to keep improving as a team. I’m proud of both drivers for how they handled such a high pressure weekend.”
Next up for USF2000 is the Cooper Tires Freedom 75 at the 0.686-mile oval of Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park May 26-27.
To stay up to date on Turn 3 Motorsport, follow the team on social media using the handle @turn3motorsport.
Photos: Gavin Baker Photo / Road to Indy