McElrea Earns Seventh Podium Finish in Round 8 As Tomaselli Scores Solid Top-10 in Round 9
Toronto, Ont., Canada (July 14, 2019) – After stellar showings in Rounds 6 and 7 in Road America, Pabst Racing and their Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Series competitors prepared for Rounds 8 and 9 of the year on the Streets of Toronto.
Naturally, Hunter McElrea, Colin Kaminsky, Bruna Tomaselli, and Yuven Sundaramoorthy were ready to take on the challenging 1.786-mile, 11-turn street circuit.
Although the Streets of Toronto presents a formidable challenge to any racer and team, Pabst Racing’s goal was to gain position in the championship. Certainly, one of those highlights of the Toronto weekend included McElrea earning his seventh podium of the season.
While the sole practice session of the weekend was kind to Tomaselli, who posted the ninth-fastest effort, McElrea, Kaminsky, and Sundaramoorthy incurred heavy damage to their machines, ultimately shortening their sessions.
Fortunately, the Pabst Racing team repaired all three cars, prior to qualifying for Round 8. Showcasing the team’s potent speed, McElrea (third), Kaminsky (fifth), and Tomaselli (seventh) drove their way to top-10 starting grid positions while Sundaramoorthy logged the 14th-fastest time.
As the green flag waved for Round 8, McElrea made his presence known in the top-three, battling Christian Rasmussen for the second position. When all was said and done, the talented rookie drove to a respectable third-place finish.
Meanwhile, Kaminsky, who fell from fifth to ninth on the opening lap, made a solid recovery, netting a sixth-place result. Knocking just outside of the top-10 in Round 8 were Tomaselli in 11th and Sundaramoorthy in 14th.
Looking for more of the same consistency in Round 9, Kaminsky led the way in qualifying for Pabst Racing with the fourth quickest effort followed by McElrea (11th), Sundaramoorthy (15th), and Tomaselli (16th).
Undoubtedly, Kaminsky looked set to have his strongest race of the season once Round 9 was underway in Toronto. Charging his way up to second before settling into the third position, the Joliet, Ill. native was in position for a solid result.
On Lap 16, Braden Eves attempted to pass Kaminsky in Turn One before making contact with Kaminsky’s right front wheel. The contact sent Kaminsky into the outside tire barrier. Less his front wing, Kaminsky was able to continue to finish 12th. Following the checkered flag, Eves apologized to Kaminsky and his team for his error.
Considering the action-packed weekend at Toronto, Kaminsky observed how he and his team were resilient and showcased strength despite tough circumstances.
“We started off the weekend with a wreck in practice, which was not really our fault,” Kaminsky said. “We just kind of got caught in a bad place at the wrong time. But we worked from there, trying to get as much experience as I could on the track. In Round 8, we wound up with a sixth-place finish which was decent points for us.
“For Round 9, I got to second place at the start, stayed there for most of it, fell back to third, and then got into an incident with another driver where he put me off the track. While it wasn’t really our day nor our best weekend, we’re looking forward to Mid-Ohio. Pabst Racing’s going to be quick.”
Despite climbing from 11th to fifth, McElrea made contact with the wall in the closing moments of Round 9, forcing the frontrunner to make an unscheduled pit stop for repairs to place in 14th.
Although McElrea and Kaminsky’s finishes didn’t reflect their strong performances, Tomaselli methodically picked off positions, driving from her 16th starting spot to a strong seventh-place finish. As a result, the Brazilian clinched the Tilton Hard Charger Award.
Not to be outdone, 16-year-old rookie Yuven Sundaramoorthy had an equally impressive outing as he drove from 15th to place eighth in the final rundown.
All things considered, each of Pabst Racing’s drivers netted top-10 finishes during the weekend as McElrea praised the organization for its determination and perseverance.
“Honestly, it was a rollercoaster weekend,” McElrea observed. “I want to thank Pabst Racing for their amazing efforts this weekend. It's a testament to them after my mistake in practice and getting back on track.
“It's not been all negative. We got a podium in Round 8 and solid points. Even though we didn't get the results that we deserved (in Round 9), we actually came out of this weekend not losing anything in the championship.”
On that end, Tomaselli expressed pride for her No. 24 Pabst Racing brigade’s efforts, posting the best result for the organization in Round 9.
“It was a good weekend in Toronto, my second year (racing) here,” Tomaselli said. “It was good points for the championship. The team did a really good job during the whole weekend for all of us drivers and now, we're just thinking of Mid-Ohio in two weeks.”
Presently, Pabst Racing maintains its strong showing in the points standings with McElrea (second), Kaminsky (fourth), Tomaselli (ninth), and Sundaramoorthy (11th) turning their attention to Rounds 10 and 11 of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Series season at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on July 25-28, 2019.
For more information about the two-time Cooper Tires USF2000 team championship Pabst Racing organization and its racers, please visit www.PabstRacing.com.