- 11 May 2019
The first session of the morning was laden with cold temperatures and with the afternoons highs not set to be much better and it became clear that times would improve drastically as the qualifying session wore on. It was a battle to see who could beat temperature into their Hoosier’s and find the right amount of balance and grip around the 3.4 mile Watkins Glen International circuit.
As the drivers started finding some rhythm it was clear the cold conditions were still plaguing some. Several drivers ran through the run off area in the bus stop region of the track requiring them to scrap their laps. However, other drivers were beginning to crack the puzzle.
Johnathan Kotyk in the K-Hill entry broke in the low two minute region and held the top spot by more than a full second at the ten minute mark. Misha Goikhberg, doing double duty in both F1600 and F2000, was in second but not making inroads on the time differential and he too experienced a slip up that caused him to make a timely detour in the bus stop.
With eighteen minutes to go Josh Green in a Pelfrey prepped car jumped to second, narrowing the gap to the lead to around a half second. But Green wouldn’t stop there, one lap later he registered a 1:59.9 and took the top spot from Kotyk, who was consistently running in the low 2 minute bracket. Dexter Czuba was in third at this juncture and Burton Kyle August was holding down fourth with quickly improving times.
At the halfway mark it appeared the Goikhberg was finding his marks and jumped into third. Green was still at the point and Kotyk still in second. Christian Lall Dass also made progress now finding himself in fifth with Burton Kyle August in sixth.
With ten minutes remaining it appeared track conditions were improving. Indeed the sun was shining bright, but ambient temperatures remained steady. Kotyk was now in the lead with a 1:59.6, Josh Green inside a tenth of a second of Kotyk, and Czuba surging but still nearly three tenths of a second adrift of the front two.
Five minutes to go and the lap times have held steady, not a single improved time since the ten minute mark. A pack with three Pelfrey drivers formed, a K-Hill driver sitting at its tail. Certainly the use of the draft might help break the lap time stalemate. 1.5 seconds covering the top eight, but it was still Kotyk, Green, and Czuba holding first through third respectively.
As the checker flew the top three stayed the same, it was Goikhberg in fourth and Christian Lall Dass in fifth. Scott Rubenzer was the first of the Master’s entries and ninth overall.