DeFrancesco returns to Mid-Ohio for double-header weekend
 September 10, 2020| 
  • Team News
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Mansfield, Ohio —Devlin DeFrancesco returns to Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires competition this weekend with the Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

This weekend’s double-header at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course marks the first time this season that the series is returning to a facility DeFrancesco has raced at previously. The Italian-Canadian racer is looking to repeat the same success he had at the series’ previous trip to the circuit, scoring two podiums and leaving the weekend as the championship point leader.

Currently sitting second in the championship standings in the No. 17 Kimoa-backed entry in his first season in Indy Pro 2000, DeFrancesco has notched up five podium finishes and one win and has led the championship standings for most of the shortened 2020 season.

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DeFrancesco’s Indy Pro 2000 campaign is supported by Kimoa - the fashion, clothing, and accessories brand founded by Fernando Alonso; world-class racing simulator manufacturer Allinsports; Apple’s largest premium retail partner, Simply Mac; Engine Media; Pure Kana and One Plant Merchandise.

Practice begins Friday, September 11th at 10:30 AM Eastern time, with two qualifying sessions at 1:30 PM and 4:10 PM that same day. DeFrancesco will take the green flag for Race 1 on Saturday at 12:15 PM and again on Sunday for Race 2 at 9:00 AM. Video coverage, live timing and radio can be found athttp://www.roadtoindy.tv/race-control.html.

  

Q: How much do you think it will benefit you to return to a track you’re familiar with and have done well at?

A:
“I think we ended Mid-Ohio in a quite good way, so we have a really good base to start the weekend from. I think that will make it a lot easier than the Indy GP since I didn’t know the facility and we only had one 30 minute session.

“I think it’s important we’re consistently up there fighting at the top and scoring a big haul of points. It’s a huge benefit to have my own race data to look at from a previous race as opposed to data from previous seasons.”

Q: What are some of the challenges you face being a one-car team compared to your competitors with teammates?

A:
“It makes it more difficult for us. With a multi-car team you can bounce ideas off of each other and try many more different changes at the same time. You can go down a different test path and experiment and try two or three different things at a time when you have multiple cars.

“With us, we have to learn as we go. I have no past experience in this car or at these tracks, and we’re trying different ways to make the car faster all the time, but we’re for sure at a disadvantage only having one car.”

“But, if anyone is up for the challenge, it’s this team. The car has gotten a lot better, the team has learned a lot and I have top respect for all the team at Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport. “Time-wise, we only had one test day before the season started, so I have huge respect for Doug Zister and what he’s been able to accomplish. I can’t commend them all enough for all the work they’ve done and it would be nice to reward them with a good, strong pair of results this weekend.”

  

Q: What are your thoughts on Mid-Ohio? What are you looking forward to about the weekend?

A:
“Generally, I know that we need to improve in sectors two and three. I think we made progress, both myself and the team, in getting on top of those issues during the last weekend we were there. I’m really excited to get back there and see what results we can get and how we’ve improved since July.

“It’s also just a great track. The undulation of the track is really nice and the blind corners make it incredibly exciting as a driver to race at. There’s no margin for error there either.

“That, combined with the low grip, makes a good lap around there so exciting. And, we get the fans back this weekend! Even without it being a full house, it makes the atmosphere that much more enjoyable and I can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.

Q: Racing in Europe you’ve experienced a lot of time on a wet track, and this year in Indy Pro 2000, you’ve done well in the wet. Are you excited for that possibility this weekend?

A:
“I’m really excited! I think it’s definitely going to throw a new spanner into the works for sure. All the wet sessions we’ve had so far this year I’ve been pretty competitive—the damp qualifying in Road America, the wet race on slicks in Mid-Ohio the last time we were there.

“I’m hugely excited for that because my speed was really good in both of those sessions. It can throw a big curveball into the finishing order, and I think I can capitalize on that.”

 

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