Ronan Murphy will have plenty of work to do in his debut US Formula 4 race at Mid-Ohio after the kiwi qualified an uncharacteristic 26th.
The Kiwi Motorsport pilot set 11 laps around the 3.8km circuit with a best lap time of a 1.30.844.
Pole position was snared by 19-year-old American driver Christian Bogle who set a 1.27183 on his penultimate lap in the 20-minute session to pip rival Hunter Yearny by over one-tenth.
Rookie pairing Nolan Siegel and Sam Paley will line up on the second row of the 33-strong grid.
Toyota Racing Series graduate and Kiwi Motorsport teammate Spike Kohlbecker will start tomorrow’s opening race from sixth position, the last of the drivers within one second of pole sitter Bogle.
Tomorrow’s race will be a baptism of fire for aspiring Murhpy, a significant step up from his most recent campaign in NZ Formula Ford.
In the weekend’s two earlier practice sessions the 18-year-old claimed a pair of 19th placings as he continues to acclimatise to an unfamiliar car and circuit.
Murphy will have two 30-minute races this weekend, the first of which gets underway from 3.40 am NZT and can be streamed via the official US F4 website.