Joel Granfors sets fastest lap of the weekend on USA debut


// Swede displays encouraging pace on streets of St. Petersburg  
// Rookie fights back after qualifying no-show

Joel Granfors fired a warning shot at his new rivals in USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires by setting the fastest lap of the weekend on his American motorsport debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Granfors, on his first-ever visit to a street track, showed no signs of being intimidated by the barrier-lined venue in The Sunshine State, proving immediately up to speed. 

After going eighth fastest in practice, just half a second shy of his more experienced rivals, Granfors set his sights at further upping his pace in qualifying.

In a slightly bizarre incident, however, Granfors would be forced to sit out the entire grid-deciding session after making contact with a rival driver who stalled on pitlane as the lights turned green. Inflicting damage to his #92 Corpay Exclusive Autosport car, Granfors was demoted to the sidelines while the rest of the 20-car field battled it out for pole position.

“It was a really unusual situation,” Joel Granfors explains. “Another car stalled right in front of me as the session started, and I just couldn’t avoid him. Missing qualifying was the worst that could happen, especially here where it’s difficult to overtake, and it probably cost us a shot at the podium this weekend.”

Granfors, however, would not give up that easily. He first battled back from last to ninth in Saturday’s season-opening race, before netting himself a P8 finish in Sunday’s concluding Race 2. 

Rounding out his debut weekend on a high, Race 2 saw Granfors impressively set the outright fastest lap of the meeting – a 1m09.800s. 

“It’s been mixed emotions this weekend,” Joel Granfors concludes. “Missing qualifying clearly hurt, especially for me as a rookie over here. I need all the laps I can get. For the same reason, though, I was really pleased to see the time we set in Race 2. It proves the pace we have, even here on a street track with a session missed, and it makes me confident for the coming races.”

Joel Granfors leaves the season-opener sitting sixth overall in the standings, leading the way among Exclusive Autosport’s four-car roster. The USF Pro 2000 campaign continues at Sebring International Raceway on March 25-26. 


USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires
Rd. 1 // Streets of St. Petersburg (USA)

// Race 1
// Race 2

Championship standings

USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires
// After 1/9 rounds 

1: Myles Rowe (USA), 53 p.
2: Kiko Porto (BRA), 50 p.
3: Christian Brooks (USA), 47 p.
4: Francesco Pizzi (ITA), 38 p.
5: Jace Denmark (USA), 37 p.
6: Joel Granfors (SWE), 26 p.

// Full standings