TJ Speed Earns Two Podium Results
 July 18, 2023| 
  • Team News
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PITTSBORO, Ind. – TJ Speed Motorsports closed its USF Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires weekend on the streets of Toronto, Ont., Canada with a pair of podium results and four top-10 finishes, led by Lirim Zendeli who finished third on Saturday and improved one position on Sunday to cross the line in second.

"Great weekend for Lirim. He is really coming into his own here and will be a force as he moves up the ladder to INDYCAR,” said TJ Speed’s Tim Neff. “This was his first time in Toronto, and he was on pace from the very first session.”

With one short practice session before the first of two qualifying sessions, which set the grid for the first wheel-to-wheel action on Saturday, Zendeli led the way by earning the seventh fastest lap while Francesco Pizzi clocked the eighth quickest time and Christian Weir was 12th. A second qualifying on Saturday morning to set the grid for race two saw Zendeli once again fastest among the TJ Speed contingent in sixth ahead of Weir in P8 and Pizzi in 10th.

The first wheel-to-wheel action took place on Saturday afternoon as  the TJ Speed drivers all started the race on slick Cooper tires before the race was halted in the latter stages as the rain began to fall. Like what happened earlier in the season on two different occasions, drivers were allotted five minutes to swap to wet-weather tires. When the race restarted with less than seven minutes remaining, Zendeli took advantage to move his way forward to claim his first podium result of the weekend, while teammate Pizzi put a pair of TJ Speed drivers in the top 10 with a sixth-place result. Weir soldiered on to score a P12 finish as he was able to complete the full race distance despite some aggressive driving by others.

Zendeli once again impressed during the final race on Sunday in front of a huge Canadian crowd that was on site for the NTT INDYCAR SERIES' Honda Indy Toronto feature event. Zendeli pressured the eventual race winner early on in the affair but in the end had to settle for the second step on the podium. Pizzi was consistent in his finishes adding his second sixth-place finish in as many days while Weir encountered trouble on the opening lap and failed to finish, putting the rest of his USF Pro 2000 season in jeopardy.

Neff added, “We will now look forward to the Circuit of The Americas in August. We had a great test there in the preseason and feel this could be another track where we can really fight for the race win.”
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