All the excitement and action at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May was at a high this past weekend during the first on-track race weekend of the month, the GMR Grand Prix. Support series, the USF Pro Championships Presented by Cooper Tires, put on an entertaining weekend for Hoosier fans in attendance as their third and final race of the weekend was just prior to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES main event.
Championship contending team Velocity Racing Development (VRD) arrived with a powerhouse lineup of six cars, one of which belonged to rookie Zack Ping. The 17-year-old who originally planned on racing in the lower UFS Juniors series has taken a step up to challenge himself in the USF2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and is holding his own amongst the 25-car field. Ping scored his best result of the weekend in ninth after being hit at the start and a fast pit stop for his crew to quickly change his rear wing, breaking into the top-ten for the first time this season.
“There’s always a learning curve when joining a new series and this one has been tough,” explained Ping. “I’m always up for the challenge. VRD is by far the best team in the paddock, and I’m confident we’ll keep improving as the season goes on.”
After his ninth-place finish in race one, a competitor crashed Ping Saturday morning in race two resulting in an unfinished race. Hoping to come back in race three, Zack fought hard from the 19th position all the way up to 11th, narrowly missing a top-ten finish.
“We had a pretty rough day out on track today, in fact, it has been a very tough year seeing as my competitors have taken me out of almost every race,” added Zack. “But I gained a few spots in race three even with a suspension issue so I’m happy with the result, and we’re just going to keep pushing through the season. I am going to sit out the only oval this season at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park and head to England for some testing with my brother Noah. I will be back and ready to go at Road America where I have had success in Radical Cup and SCCA.”
Zack will return on track at Road America June 15-18.
Be sure to follow Ping Racing on social media by searching ‘Ping Racing’ to stay up to date on news, information, photos, and results prior to, during, and following event weekends.
Photo: Gavin Baker Photography