For the second straight race it was the quick Cape Motorsports with /WTR pair of Parker Thompson and Anthony Martin who started on the front row. In the reverse of the first race Martin began on pole and Thompson on the outside of the front row, but is once again was the Canadian Thompson who came out on top.
The 18 year-old that is sponsored by Weyburn Energy is now leading the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda points over Gabin.
Gabin, a 21 year-old driving for JAY Motorsports, scored his second straight podium and fourth straight top five to start 2016.
At the end of the first lap the top 10 were: Parker Thompson, Anthony Martin, Luke Gabin, Jordan Lloyd, Victor Franzoni, Ayla Agren, Robert Megennis, Garth Rickards, Nikita Lastochkin and Austin McCusker.
Pole-sitter Martin certainly won’t forget Lap 2 any time soon, losing second place to Gabin in Turn 1 and third place to Lloyd who made a daring move around the outside of the Aussie in Turn 5.
Further back in the field the No. 83 of James Munro broke a half-shaft and came to a halt at the side of the tracking forcing race control to throw the yellow flag.
The Holmatro Safety Team was able to quickly pull the Kiwi off the track and the field went back to green on Lap 3. Franzoni used Turn 5 to get by pole-sitter Martin to move up to fourth.
One-third of the way through the race and Thompson was a scant 0.5 seconds ahead of Gabin. Jordan Lloyd, Victor Franzoni, Anthony Martin, Robert Megennis, Nikita Lastochkin, Ayla Agren, Garth Rickards and Austin McCusker made up the remainder of the top 10.
Some action further back in the pack saw Lucas Kohl and Michai Stephens make contact. Both drivers were able to keep going but Kohl suffered a double hit. The 17 year-old was forced to pit road with a flat tire and he later had to serve a drive-thru penalty for avoidable contact.
With ten minutes to go in the 30 minute race, Lloyd, Gabin and Franzoni were battling for second, third and fourth position. The No. 9 ArmsUp Motorsports machine of Franzoni and the No. 21 Pabst Racing car of Lloyd made contact with Franzoni dropping back to 12th and Lloyd continuing but making contact in at the south end of the track bringing out the second yellow flag.
Franzoni restarted 12th and was able to gain back three spots to finish 9th.
Lloyd was able to continue after a visit to the pits and finished a lap down in 20th spot, and begins the next event in third place in the championship standings.
The field went back to green with just over five minutes remaining.
Martin who found himself back on the podium after the Lloyd and Franzoni contact, made an aggressive move on Gabin for second on on the restart, but was not able to make the move stick.
On the second last lap, Megennis was able to get past Martin in Turn 5 to grab the last spot on the podium. This is the 16 year-old New Yorker’s second podium after finishing third in his first USF2000 race in St. Petersburg.
Rounding out the top five was the third Cape Motorsports with /WTR driver Nikita Lastochkin.
That’s it for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda series at Barber Motorsports Park. The drivers are back in action in two weeks in support of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis to kick off the month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Full results of Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda Race #2
RANK DRIVER GAP
1 Parker Thompson 0.0000
2 Luke Gabin 1.1874
3 Robert Megennis 1.9380
4 Anthony Martin 2.1003
5 Nikita Lastochkin 2.4211
6 Ayla Agren 2.8493
7 Garth Rickards 4.4220
8 Austin McCusker 6.1730
9 Victor Franzoni 6.4742
10 TJ Fischer 6.9800
11 Yufeng Luo 7.3215
12 Cameron Das 8.1964
13 Dakota Dickerson 10.0719
14 Clint McMahan 10.4496
15 Michai Stephens 11.2583
16 Max Hanratty 12.4402
17 Tazio Ottis 12.7988
18 Eric Filgueiras 21.2991
19 Jordan Cane 33.7692
20 Jordan Lloyd 1L
21 Lucas Kohl 2L
22 Sam Chastain 5L
23 James Munro 17L