Getting back into contention was the big story of the weekend in the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire and Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda series, the two lowest rungs on the Mazda Road To Indy (MRTI) ladder.
Aaron Telitz (Pro Mazda) and Anthony Martin (USF2000) both won their second MRTI races in the span of only five hours, and both drivers were able to re-enter the their respective title fights and the Mazda Motorsports Advancement Scholarship that goes with it.
When the checkered flag fell on the last USF2000 race at Lucas Oil Raceway one month ago, Cape Motorsports with /WTR sophomore Anthony Martin trailed his teammate Parker Thompson by 26 points. While not an insurmountable lead, the pressure was certainly on Martin to continue to eat into the Red Deer, Alberta native’s point lead.
The Australian was definitely successful in that quest. His fourth win in the last five races means he leaves Road America tied with Thompson at 217 points.
Coming to his home state Wisconsin race, Telitz was facing an almost insurmountable 55 point deficit to his 17 year-old Team Pelfrey teammate Pato O’Ward.
Whether it was his familiarity with the circuit, or the energy from his 70+ guests, Telitz was absolutely dominant this weekend by leading both practice sessions, starting on pole in both races, leading every lap and winning twice.
While Telitz was dominating, O’Ward was struggling. After seven straight first or second place finishes, the Monterey, Mexico native had his second straight fourth place finish in race #2, allowing Telitz to pull within a more manageable 28 points.
Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America Race #2 notes:
After running green for 19 laps in the morning race, the second Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire race was interrupted by two yellow flags. Bob Kaminsky and Jake Parsons both spun at Canada Corner causing the two yellow flags.
Telitz was never challenged and ended up winning by a dominant 10.2885 seconds, and his quickest lap of the race was over one second ahead of the next closest competitor.
Behind Telitz, the battle between Nico Jamin, Will Owen, O’Ward and Nicolas Dapero was an entertaining one. Those four drivers all finished within two seconds of each other.
Jamin was able to successfully defend the middle step of podium from O’Ward and Owen to score his 17th career Mazda Road To Indy podium. For the second race in a row, Owen was able to make a late lap pass of O’Ward to score a podium, his second in a row and the seventh of his Pro Mazda career.
Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Road America Race #2 results
Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Powered by Mazda Race #2 notes
After a bit of a messy morning race with two cautions, the afternoon USF2000 race ran “clean and green” for 14 laps.
For the second straight race, Anthony Martin had the car to beat, and for the majority of the second straight race it was fellow Australian Jordan Lloyd that was pressuring him. Unfortunately, the Pabst Racing sophomore had an issue and finished three laps down.
The 24 cars were able to get through the first lap cleanly with the top five after one 4.014 mile circuit were Martin, Victor Franzoni, Lloyd, Thompson and Ayla Agren.
Franzoni’s second place finish was the fifth straight podium visit for the locally based ArmsUp Motorsports veteran.
Making up the rest of the top five were former Team Pelfrey USF2000 teammates Ayla Agren and Garth Rickards. The fourth place finish the best career USF2000 finish for John Cummiskey Racing’s Agren and the fifth place is the best finish of the year for Pabst Racing’s Rickards.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix of Road America Powered by Mazda Race #2 results