James Roe had an excellent start to his weekend in Qualifying 1; the rookie placed his #3 Topcon/Trintech car in the provisional pole position on his first hot lap where he held strong up until five minutes to go at which point he was bested by a mere 0.4200 seconds and ended up starting seventh for Race 1.
The start of Race 1 saw four cars involved in an opening lap incident with Roe avoiding the wreck and moving up to fifth. Once the race restarted, the #91 car of Braden Eves came up through farther back in the field and overtook Roe for fifth. Over the remaining laps, Roe fought to chase down Eves’ car while also holding off the #18 car of Hunter McElrea, eventually crossing the finish line in a well-earned sixth place, his best result of the season to date.
Roe’s second qualifying effort didn’t pay off quite as well as his first, and the Irishman ended up starting 11th for Race 2. Knowing he had one of the fastest cars on track, Roe went to work on improving his rank and made his way up P7 by the halfway point. It was then that disaster struck in the form of a suspension part failure; Roe lost his steering going into Turn 7, sending the #3 car straight into the barrier and ending his race early.
“Overall, I think it was a weekend of what could have been,” said James Roe. “We started off the weekend with a straight line speed issue during testing which was rectified by changing engines. Our speed was then very strong, and in qualifying, we were on the pole up until the last five minutes. Race 1 was steady as we moved forward and showed great speed again. Race 2 was really unfortunate as we had worked our way up to P7 after some bold moves and were the fastest car on track by some margin only to suffer left front suspension failure which ended our day. I’m extremely thankful for the AMR safety team for attending to me so quickly. We have proven our speed once again, so now it’s on to Mid-Ohio.”
“It was a challenging weekend for the team,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “It was especially difficult because this is our home race, and with our success here in the past, we expected to be stronger. We all worked hard throughout the weekend to maximize our results and fortunately, we were able to come away with some of our best results of the year. Although it’s not what we wanted, it’s still a step in the right direction.”
“I want to thank everyone on our team for their hard work and dedication to making us all better,” continued Dempsey. “We are going to keep pushing as hard as we can for the rest of the season, and we will come back stronger again at Mid-Ohio.”
Up next on the 2021 Road to Indy calendar is the first of two events at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The upcoming event will take place over Fourth of July weekend, July 2-4, and will be a doubleheader event for the Indy Pro 2000 Series.