- 28 April 2017
Alton, VA - Matthew Cowley led the way in late Friday afternoon qualifying from VIR in the No. 80 Team Pelfrey entry, taking his Mygale/Honda to the top of the time sheets to score pole for the F1600 Championship Series season opener. However, a penalty from Thursday will cost the rookie two grid positions, promoting Yuven Sundaramoorthy to the first starting position alongside David Osborne.
Cowley turned in a quick time of 1:59.475 in the 30-minute qualifying session, fastest, but a mistake on Thursday that saw him turn a lap after the checkered flag will push him back to third. Cowley makes his F1600 debut this weekend at VIR, but is no stranger to Formula F competition, having run the last two years in UK competition.
A late flying lap in the final moments of the session sent Sundaramoorthy vaulting up the time sheets for second place, ultimately netting him the first-place starting spot heading to turn one on Saturday afternoon in the No. 13 K-Hill Motorsports Mygale/Honda.
Sundaramoorthy was just .04 seconds ahead of Pelfrey's Osborne on the time sheets, as Osborne was a late-signing to the team's F1600 program, announced just this week.
Lance Fenderson, in a K-Hill Mygale/Honda, was just two more hundredths back from Osborne in fourth place, narrowly ahead of Ryan Bjerke in the Raceworks Spectrum, who rounded out the top five.
Jonathan Kotyk was sixth fastest for Team Pelfrey, another two hundredths back from Bjerke in a tight qualifying session.
Zach Holden took his K-Hill Motorsports Mygale/Honda to the seventh qualifying spot after leading the way in Thursday practice with two fast laps.
Holden, alongside his F1600 season, is also competing in the karting SKUSA Pro Tour this year, running the X30 Senior Class. He recently won the second race of the WinterNationals doubleheader in New Orleans.
Joe Colasacco was fastest of the Masters Class drivers and only 1.2 seconds off pole, qualifying eighth overall.
The weekend marks the season-opening round of the seven-event Championship season.
The 30-minute qualifying session was run at 5:30 p.m. local time at VIR after a hot and humid day, with the track still extremely hot but well "rubbered" in after multi-series practice and qualifying having taken place since 8:00 a.m.