Hunter McElrea has scored his debut Indy Pro 2000 win in the final race of the championship at St. Petersburg.
McElrea made the move for lead following an early safety car intervention for a lap one collision which eliminated three cars.
Polesitter and championship winner Sting Ray Robb bowled a wide into Turn 4, conceding the lead to Colin Kaminsky and second to McElrea.
Kaminsky then immediately came under fire from McElrea. Pushing hard along the concrete jungle of the St Petersburg street circuit, McElrea squeezed himself past his teammate to claim the lead.
Manuel Sulaiman ensured the race was neutralised behind the safety car just a few laps later when he slipped off the road at Turn 4.
But a collected McElrea seized the opportunity to refocus his attention and he quickly raced away from his teammate off the restart.
Kaminsky came under attack from Danial Frost and Toyota Racing Series graduate Artem Petrov for third. Meanwhile, former race leader Robb look to make amends for his costly error by setting the fastest lap of the race.
Up front, McElrea’s pace began to fade as a consequence of pushing hard from the second restart.
The margin between McElrea and Kaminsky had been slashed to just five-tenths with six laps remaining. However, the narrow confinements of the circuit played into the Kiwi’s hands as he expertly placed himself on the ideal line to prevent an attack from behind.
McElrea thus earned himself and Pabst Racing their sole win of 2020. It also means he finishes a commendable fifth in the standings.
Kaminsky rounded out a 1-2 for the American outfit with Frost clinging on to third.
Petrov sank down the order before retiring in the pits, while series returnee Rasmus Lindh defeated Robb in the fight four fourth.
|Sting Ray Robb
|Moises de la Vara