Fine margins decide Mid-Ohio qualifying results for JHR
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, OhioJuly 1, 2023
Callum Ilott and Agustín Canapino narrowly missed out on progression from their qualifying groups as the grid for tomorrow’s Honda Indy 200 was decided at Mid-Ohio earlier today. The Juncos Hollinger Racing drivers will therefore line up in P20 and P21 respectively.
Both men ran in separate qualifying groups – with track time lasting only 10 minutes. Rookie Agustín was first up in group one. The strategy was to use Firestone’s primary tire first, before switching to the softer, red-sidewall alternate tire as the session warmed up.
With five minutes on the clock, Agustín showed his trademark confidence by making regular lap time improvements. The Argentine valiantly pushed his #78 car to the limit on the narrow Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but couldn’t quite find the pace to break into the ‘Fast 12’ – claiming P11 in his group.
Callum was next to tackle the challenging 13-turn road course in group two. The Briton made an excellent start as he went second quickest after only two laps. At the session’s halfway point, Callum dived into the pits for fresh rubber after dropping to P10, but was unable to improve in the time remaining.
Despite battling hard to progress onto the next stage of qualifying, Callum and his #77 machine missed out by just three-tenths of a second.
“I think the qualifying result didn’t really do us justice today, as we improved the car quite a lot from Practice 2.”
Callum Ilott said:
“I think the qualifying result didn’t really do us justice today, as we improved the car quite a lot from Practice 2. We were reasonably close to the top, but unfortunately it was a very tight group. I think we’ve been a bit unlucky with the qualifying groups so far this year.
“But, there’s still a few things we can improve and we’ll see what we can do in the warm-up tomorrow and prepare the car well for the race.”
“The car was better today, as we have improved recently, and we were close to gaining more positions at the end of the session.”
Agustín Canapino said:
“I’m happy with P21 for tomorrow. The car was better today, as we have improved recently, and we were close to gaining more positions at the end of the session.
“I had a tricky session because the track was a little bit wet at the beginning, but the conditions improved at the end. We have the chance tomorrow to have a good race and take home some points.”
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