USF2000 race #1 notes and results

The box score for the first of two Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Alabama Presented by Cooper Tires races will show that Mazda scholarship driver Oliver Askew led all 19 laps between the green and checkered flags on the way to his second straight USF200 win. What it won’t show is how well the 20 year-old handled the constant pressure from 14 year-old Team Pelfrey rookie Kaylen Frederick.

“He (Frederick) had a lot of pace, especially in that draft, so on the straight aways he was able to keep up with me a little bit, but in the corners I was able to pull away just enough,” explained Askew. “He was able to stay consistant the whole time so I really had to focus and not make a mistake for him to get around me, and that’s what I did. The car felt great. Thanks to Mazda for giving me the opportunity, and once again the Cape Motorsports team did a fantastic job and we’ll be even better tomorrow.”

Frederick, who scored his first MRTI podium after impressive fourth and fifth place in St. Petersburg, explained to TSO that there was just enough aero wash that he couldn’t quite get close enough to make a pass.

Rinus Van Kalmthout, a 16 year-old Pabst Racing rookie, rounded out the podium for the third straight race.

Rookie USF2000 driver Askew started on pole for the first time in his young MRTI career, however pole at Barber Motorsports Park is a familiar spot for a car from the Cape Motorsports stable. A driver representing the St. Petersburg, Fla. based team has started on pole for four straight races on the 2.3-mile, 17-turn natural terrain Barber Motorsports Park road course.

The 12 rows of two Mazda powered Tatuss USF-17s came to the green flag with the No. 11 DE Force car of Kory Enders jumping out of line early. The cars got through the first lap cleanly, but Enders did receive a penalty for jumping the start. After serving his drive-through, Enders came out in last place, and the 19 year-old Enders was able to up recover and to finish 17th.

The top ten after the first lap of action were: Askew, Frederick, Van Kalmthout, Robert Megennis, Dakota Dickerson, Calvin Ming, Andre Castro, Enders, and Ayla Agren.

At the start of the second lap Cape Motorsports rookie Ricky Donison, spun in Turn 1 while trying to get by Luke Gabin for the 11th spot.

Askew continued to lead at the half-way mark of the 30 minute race, but it was Team Pelfrey rookie Frederick who had the quickest lap of the race, and was within one second of the leader.

Further back in the field, Bruna Tomaselli and Moisés de la Vara had a terrific battle for 16th spot, with the Brazilian Tomaselli making a brave pass into Turn 1 to take the position. After making a mistake in practice on her out lap in practice yesterday, Tomaselli was impressive in her first weekend in the USF-17,

With just under twelve minutes left, the yellow flag came out when Donison had his second incident of the race. The 19 year-old from Bangalore, India wasn’t able to get going this time, beaching the No. 2 in the gravel at the exit of Turn 17. The top ten under yellow were: Askew, Frederick, VeeKay, Megennis, Thompson, Dickerson, Ming, Castro, Agren and Gabin.

The race went back to green with 6 ½ minutes remaining. Askew had a great restart, and crossed under the starter stand with a three or four car lead over Frederick. The field got through the first four corners cleanly, but John Cummiskey Racing newcomer Bayley Mickler was turned by Pabst Racing’s Lucas Kohl in Charlotte’s Web (Turn 5). Sophomore Kohl received a drive-through penalty for unavoidable contact. Both drivers were forced to retire with their damage.

Askew was not able to shake Frederick and took the white flag only three-tenths of a second ahead of his pursuer. Frederick continued to shadow Askew for the entire final lap and was right on the rear wing of the Soul Red No.3 as the drivers went through the final complex of corners, but was not able to pressure the USF2000 points leader into a mistake, crossing the line just behind Askew.

This was the fifth straight win going back to the second Cooper Tires Winterfest race at Barber Motorsports Park for Cape Motorsports.

The USF2000 teams and drivers will be back on track at 9:25am tomorrow morning to qualify for their second race of the weekend, which rolls off at at 4:45pm tomorrow.

Full race results:

1 3 Oliver Askew Cape Motorsports 19 laps
2 81 Kaylen Frederick Team Pelfrey 0.2273
3 21 Rinus VeeKay Pabst Racing 0.7368
4 80 Robert Megennis Team Pelfrey 1.5476
5 90 Parker Thompson Exclusive Autosport 2.8475
6 36 Dakota Dickerson Newman Wachs Racing 3.0627
7 22 Calvin Ming Pabst Racing 3.7936
8 82 Ayla Agren Team Pelfrey 4.6487
9 37 Andre Castro Newman Wachs Racing 6.5512
10 91 Luke Gabin Exclusive Autosport 8.4423
11 31 Toby Sowery Benik Kart 11.5138
12 7 Devin Wojcik ArmsUp Motorsports 11.6213
13 34 Kris Wright John Cummiskey Racing 12.1719
14 97 Bruna Tomaselli ArmsUp Motorsports 13.2925
15 12 Moises de la Vara DEForce Racing 16.4336
16 32 Darren Keane Benik Kart 16.7136
17 11 Kory Enders DEForce Racing 18.0530
18 92 Dev Gore Exclusive Autosport 20.5938
19 27 Colin Kaminsky Kaminsky Racing 20.7739
20 20 Chandler Horton RJB Motorsports 27.8931
21 2 Ricky Donison Cape Motorsports -1 Lap
22 38 Flinn Lazier Newman Wachs Racing -1 lap
23 23 Lucas Kohl Pabst Racing -2 laps
24 33 Bayley Mickler John Cummiskey Racing -4 laps