ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Kyle Kirkwood remained perfect in four Road to Indy starts at Road America by winning Sunday’s Cooper Tires Indy Pro 2000 Grand Prix of Road America powered by Elite Engines.
Kirkwood chased pole-sitting Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires points leader Rasmus Lindh for the opening five laps before pouncing at turn five.
He then held off Lindh’s unrelenting, but ultimately unsuccessful, effort to regain the advantage to score his fourth straight victory at the historic Wisconsin road course.
Lindh finished just over a half-second back in second place for defending champion team Juncos Racing, taking a 30-point lead in the point standings over Parker Thompson, who completed the podium for Abel Motorsports.
A clean start to the 15-lap race, run entirely under green-flag conditions, saw Lindh maintain his pole position advantage off the initial start.
However, he was unable to shake off the attentions of Kirkwood, who started third before vaulting past Lindh’s teammate, Sting Ray Robb, on the drag race to turn one.
Kirkwood remained seemingly latched onto Lindh’s rear wing as the two leaders traded early fastest laps, before glimpsing an opportunity at turn five and squeezing down the inside under braking.
Now the situation was reversed, with Lindh looking to redress the balance, but Kirkwood was steadfast in his defense and ultimately crossed underneath the checkered flag just .5847 seconds to the good.
Last year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 champion also secured the second PFC Award of the weekend for RP Motorsport USA.
A close battle for third place between Robb, Thompson and Singapore’s Danial Frost ended prematurely when Frost pulled off the road with an electrical failure after nine laps and then Robb retired to the pits shortly afterward with a mechanical problem.
Guatemalan Ian Rodriguez took advantage to finish fourth aboard a second RP Motorsport USA Tatuus PM-18, while Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin made up the three places he had lost on the opening lap to complete the top five.
A thoroughly entertaining race also was enlivened by a tremendous five-car battle over what eventually became sixth place.
Jacob Loomis emerged with the position and the Tilton Hard Charger Award after a fine drive from 10th on the grid in his family-run JDL Racing entry. Phillippe Denes finished hot on his heels in seventh, followed by Canadian Antonio Serravalle.
DEForce teammates Moises de la Vara and Kory Enders had also been part of the scrap before encountering mechanical problems of their own.