CAPE MOTORSPORTS SWEEPS USF2000 MAIN EVENTS AT BARBER
Canadian Parker Thompson gives championship team first wins of 2016 campaign
BIRMINGHAM, AL (April 29, 2016) – After being kept off the podium in the opening round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing stormed back with a vengeance last weekend at Barber Motorsports Park, sweeping the doubleheader thanks to a breakthrough performance by their young sophomore driver, Parker Thompson. The Canadian qualified on the pole for the opening race and pulled away to a convincing win on Fridayafternoon, and then backed this up with the flawless triumph in the second race on Saturday to complete the sweep and take over the championship point lead. Australia’s Anthony Martin also improved on his results from St. Petersburg in March, scoring a pair of top-five finishes that included a third place run in Race 1. Nikita Lastochkin was also on his game, as the Russian pilot posted a pair of top-seven results, highlighted by a fourth place in the second race of the weekend, his best career USF2000 finish. All three team drivers now sit in the top-eight in the championship standings.
“Our hats are off to our USF2000 team,” offered Dominic and Nicolas Cape, team owners. “They did an awesome job over the weekend and we’re happy to grab our first wins of the year. Our goal is to carry some momentum going into the month of May.”
Qualifying went extremely well for the Cape Motorsports trio, with Thompson leading the way in his #2 Weyburn Energy / Uber / Sylvan Lake RV entry, turning a lap of 1:24.668 to secure his first career USF2000 pole position, and the all-important bonus point that accompanies the top starting spot. Martin was just 0.05 seconds back in his white #8 Burgess BLA / Mazda / Cooper Tires Van Diemen, making it an all-Cape front row. Lastochkin was still finding his rhythm, laying down the eighth quickest lap in his #3 Russkaya Mechanika machine.
Thompson got a great start to the opening race of the weekend and maximized his speed on cold tires to quickly open a gap, and he remained 100% focused throughout the 30-minute race to extend his margin of victory to 4.278 seconds at the checkered flag. Martin was in the podium hunt all race and despite battling with minor grip and balance issues, he did his best to take care of his tires and was rewarded with his first podium finish of the year in third. Nikita maintained his position throughout the race and his seventh place result completed a strong day for the Cape Motorsports pilots.
Martin moved over to the pole for the second race of the weekend, held on Saturday, but Thompson got a solid jump at the green flag to run parallel with his teammate powered through Turn 1, which gave him in the inside line for the right-hand Turn 2. After taking the lead, the field was slowed by a full course yellow on lap two, and then a second caution on lap 14, which pressured Thompson to handle two restarts. He maintained his lead each time and came home with his second win of the weekend. Martin posted his second top-five of the weekend with a strong fourth, while Lastochkin improved as well and finished fifth, putting all three Cape cars into the top-five to cap the event.
Armed with confidence and momentum, the team is now looking forward to the next event, which will take place on May 12-14 on the road course circuit at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Thompson will enter the race leading the championship standings by 11 points over Luke Gabin, while Martin and Lastochkin sit fifth and eighth, respectively.
For more information on the team, please visit www.capemotorsports.com.
DRIVER PERFORMANCE – ROUNDS 3/4
PARKER THOMPSON – #2
Qualifying: 1st – 1:24.668
Race #1: 1st
Race #2: 1st
Driver Quote: “After coming out of St. Petersburg knowing that we were in a hole for the championship, it feels amazing to have the success we did in Alabama. The whole team really pulled off an exceptional comeback race for the championship. It feels great to get my first pole, and race wins in the USF2000 Championship, as well. I look forward to riding this momentum into the month of May with the Cape Motorsports boys!”
ANTHONY MARTIN – #8
Qualifying: 7th – 1:24.719
Race #1: 3rd
Race #2: 4th
Driver Quote: “Overall, it was a great weekend as we made back a significant points lead in the championship, in terms for myself and the team! And that makes us more hungry and determined for the championship, which means we will be doing everything we can to gain more points back at IMS in May.”
NIKITA LASTOCHKIN – #3
Qualifying: 8th – 1:25.203
Race #1: 7th
Race #2: 5th
Driver Quote: “I’ve had a rough start to the season, with a mix of both bad luck in qualifying and mistakes on my part, which has not given the results that we wanted. I knew Barber was going to be a challenging track based on last year’s experience. Having learned from my mistakes, and with great tracks ahead of us, I feel really confident. With the field being as competitive as it is, I’m sure that the championship is going to come down to the last round, so my plan is to keep the focus on my performance and I’m sure results will follow.”