Pabst Racing Starts Out Strong at St. Petersburg
 March 11, 2019| 
  • Team News
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McElrea Scores Double Podiums While Kaminsky, Tomaselli  and Sundaramoorthy Nab Top-10s

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – While Pabst Racing entered the pair of season-opening races on the Streets of St. Petersburg with a relatively new driver lineup, the focus remained the same: to score solid results in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.

When all was said and done, the two-time Team Championship-winning organization started the year off with Hunter McElrea, Colin Kaminsky, Bruna Tomaselli and Yuven Sundaramoorthy each logging top-10 finishes.

In this case, the kickoff for this season of USF2000 racing showcased Pabst Racing’s muscles and resiliency from start to finish. The quartet were among the top-12 fastest in the sole practice round of the weekend.

Altogether McElrea, Kaminsky, Tomaselli, and Sundaramoorthy backed up their fast practice performances by respectively starting second, fifth, sixth and eighth in race one.

As the green flag unfurled for race one, Pabst Racing’s drivers avoided an opening-lap incident that transpired entering Turn One. Following the race’s shaky start, McElrea, the winner of the Mazda Road to Indy USF2000 $200k Scholarship Shootout last December, led the way for Pabst Racing with a third-place finish.

Meanwhile, Tomaselli (sixth) and Sundaramoorthy (eighth) logged top-10s while Kaminsky, who was caught in a latter incident in Round One, placed 16th.

With race one in the books, McElrea (fifth), Kaminsky (sixth), Tomaselli (ninth) and Sundaramoorthy (10th) secured top-10 starting positions for Round Two.

A pair of cautions did not impede Pabst Racing’s strong showing in the second race as McElrea (second), Kaminsky (fifth), and Tomaselli (seventh) finished in the top-10 with Sundaramoorthy knocking on the door with an 11th-place effort.

Altogether, Pabst Racing compiled impressive efforts from its young drivers who held their own on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

The 19-year-old McElrea expressed gratitude and excitement in his debut races in USF2000 and with Pabst Racing.

“It’s been a really good weekend for my first time with the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires and first time on a street course,” McElrea said. “We managed to bring home a double podium on debut. It was a really good points day for the championship. I can’t thank Mazda Motorsports enough for giving me the scholarship and Pabst Racing for giving me an amazing car all weekend. I can’t wait for Indy already!”

Kaminsky, the 19-year-old Joliet, Ill., native in his first season with Pabst Racing, applied lessons and experiences from race one to produce a steady showing in race two.

“The week was pretty good,” Kaminsky observed. “It had a lot of ups and downs here in St. Petersburg. We started fifth and sixth. In race one, I got involved a little bit of an incident. That put us back and we lost my front wing, so we had to pit and ended up 16th.

“For race two, I just went with a better mindset and was pretty optimistic about the day. I had a really good start, got myself into third place. I just didn’t have the pace to keep it there but we ended up taking fifth.

“It was a good finish for us today and got some points towards the championship. Overall, the weekend was good. We have the pace and we’re very optimistic for the rest of the season. We’ll be ready for Indy.”

As for Tomaselli, who joins Pabst Racing in her third season of USF2000 racing, the Brazilian racer was satisfied with her top-10 efforts in the opening rounds.

“We had a good weekend in St. Pete, the first race of the season,” she said. “In race one, I was sixth in a completely crazy race with one red flag, two yellows. I kept myself competitive during the whole race. In race two, I was seventh. Now, I’m just looking forward to keep doing a good job with the team for higher positions in the next races.”

Pabst Racing’s youngest talent, 16-year-old Yuven Sundaramoorthy, demonstrated his potential as a rising star while showing respect for his competitors and the track.

“Overall, I think it was a pretty good for my first time on a street course,” he said. “I learned a lot and got more comfortable with the walls right there. I still have a little bit to work on, but I’m pretty pleased with eight-place and 10th place qualifying efforts and eighth place and 11th place finishes in the races. We know what to work on for Indy and we are keeping our head forward and hoping to do well.”

Of course, Pabst Racing’s drivers always look to make the grade. In this case, that expression applies literally for Kaminsky and Sundaramoorthy as both go from the racetrack and return to their respective classrooms before the next races at Indianapolis.

“I’ve got a lot of school to focus on,” Sundaramoorthy said while pointing out, “hopefully, I’ve got some snowboarding and other stuff (as well).”

Likewise, Kaminsky has his focus on finishing up his second year as a college student in strong fashion, literally and figuratively.

“In between now and Indy, I’ll be doing a lot of studying,” he said. “I’m a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh, so I’ll be doing some studying for some tests that finish up at the end of April. I’ll be doing a lot of working out before Indy and then we’ll go from there.”

All in all, Pabst Racing’s fleet can take pride with McElrea (second), Tomaselli (fifth), Sundaramoorthy (ninth) and Kaminsky (11th) off to a brilliant start for their overall driver championship standing rankings.

Races three and four of the championship awaits Pabst Racing and its competitors in about two months, with the 14-turn road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway serving as the next challenge.

For more information about the two-time winning Cooper Tires USF2000 team championship Pabst Racing organization and its stable of drivers, please visit www.PabstRacing.com.
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