CAPE MOTORSPORTS SWEEPS USF2000 WINS AT ROAD AMERICA
Anthony Martin dominates weekend, Jamin steps up with first podium in Pro Mazda
ELKHART LAKE, WI (June 30, 2016) – The entire Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing squad turned in impressive performances last weekend (June 24-26) as the Mazda Road to Indy made its return to Road America. The team won both races in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and returned to the podium in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Australian talent Anthony Martin extended his USF2000 win streak to three with a sweep of the races on the iconic 4.018-mile, 14-turn circuit, pulling into a tie for the point lead with teammate Parker Thompson, who scored a pair of top-five finishes including a podium third in Race 2. Nikita Lastochkin added to the USF2000 results with two finishes inside the top-eight, while team newcomer Jordan Cane bounced back from a Race 1 incident to finish sixth in Race 2. Cape’s Pro Mazda star Nico Jamin rose to the occasion and challenged for the podium all weekend, finishing a stellar second in the second race of the doubleheader.
Martin got the weekend off to a great start, qualifying his #8 Burgess BLA Van Diemen on pole on Friday, while Thompson timed in third in his #2 Weyburn Energy entry to line-up directly behind his teammate for the opening race on Saturday morning. All four drivers qualified in the top-10, with the rookie Cane sitting sixth (#4 Adidas) and Lastochkin in ninth (#3 Russkaya Mekhanika).
Martin assumed the lead at the green flag for the first race on Saturday, but an incident between two of the Pabst Racing cars brought out the caution before the first lap could be completed. On the ensuing restart, Martin again handled the proceedings, jetting out to the lead. Cane spun on lap 7 when his front wing, damaged during a lap four skirmish in Turn 5, finally detached itself from his Van Diemen and wedged itself under the car in Turn 14. Despite the fact that the field stacked back up behind Martin for the restart, the 21-year-old defended the attack and pulled away to a 0.911-second win over Jordan Lloyd. Thompson finished fifth and Lastochkin was sixth. Cane was officially classified in 21st.
The second race of the weekend, held later that day, went green to checker with no issues and Martin let it be known that he would not be challenged, inching away to a 2.652-second win. With his victory on the oval at Lucas Oil Raceway in May, this extends Anthony’s streak to three wins and the team’s run to seven victories on the strength of Thompson’s sweep of Barber Motorsports Park and Anthony and Parker’s split of the wins at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Thompson improved to third in Race 2 at Road America, getting back on the podium, while Cane rebounded to turn in a strong run to sixth. Lastochkin carded his second top-10 of the day with his eighth place finish.
“What can you say about these guys, they always bring there A-game,” said Dominic and Nicholas Cape, Team Owners. “Week-in and week-out, they’re really hammering it out. The team atmosphere is fantastic, and they’re all really pushing each other hard and results show it. Toronto is next and it’s one of our favorite race weekends on the calendar. It’s an awesome city with great race fans. We can’t wait to get going.’
In Pro Mazda, Mazdaspeed Scholarship backed Nico Jamin continued to show the improved pace the team found at the official Mid-Ohio test earlier in the month, debuting near the very top of the speed charts on Thursday in the #2 Soul Red Mazdaspeed machine. The reigning USF2000 champion was quick from the get-go at Road America, qualifying third for the opening race. In the first 40-minute timed event on Saturday morning, Nico pushed hard through the opening corner and narrowly missed his braking marker and made unfortunate contact with Jake Parsons, sending Nico off track with wing damage. He needed to pit for a new front wing, and despite losing a lap and finishing 10th, he turned the fastest lap of the race to earn a valuable bonus point.
In the second race, held on Saturday afternoon, the Frenchman was on his game, pushing the eventual victor all race long. Nico ran a flawless race and finished second, his first podium finish of the 2016 Pro Mazda season.
The next round of the Pro Mazda Championship was originally scheduled for July 9-10 weekend at Iowa Speedway, but series officials elected to cancel the event at the 7/8 mile oval due to insufficient entry numbers. To replace the event, they will add a third race at the #SoulRedFinale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September. As a result, the team will now look forward to travelling north of the border to the Honda Indy Toronto, the popular street circuit event in the capital city of Ontario. The race will take place on July 15-17 and will see the participation of all three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy.
For more information on the team, please visit www.capemotorsports.com.
DRIVER PERFORMANCE / QUOTES
ROAD AMERICA – ELKHART LAKE, IW
JUNE 24-26, 2016
NICO JAMIN – PRO MAZDA #2
Qualifying: 3rd – 2:05.921
Race 1: 10th
Race 2: 2nd
Driver Quote: “Overall, it was a very good weekend for me. It’s great to see that we are back at the front, fighting for wins. We had a great test at Mid-Ohio where we were the fastest for two days. That gave us a great momentum heading into Road America. The track was amazing, it was one of the fastest circuits I’ve been to and I had a blast driving it. I’m very proud of the whole team, and it feels good to step back on the podium with a second place finish. ”
PARKER THOMPSON – USF2000 #2
Qualifying: 3rd – 2:11.312
Race 1: 5th
Race 2: 3rd
Driver Quote: “I’m proud of myself and my team for keeping our heads in the right frame of mind this weekend. With the intensity of racing on track, we could have easily thrown away a championship this weekend. Instead, we pulled off two solid results and came out very much in the game headed to three of my strongest tracks. Time to get ready for my home Grand Prix, and the summer leg of the USF2000 Championship.
ANTHONY MARTIN – USF2000 #8
Qualifying: 1st – 2:10.779
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 1st
Driver Quote: “What a great weekend for the Burgess BLA car. Being able to finish the mid-season races off with two poles and two wins was just what I needed to challenge Parker for the championship. The Cape Motorsport boys gave me an awesome car all weekend and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done. Going into Toronto now even for the lead in the championship, I will be fighting harder than ever to get some more wins and more crucial championship points.
NIKITA LASTOCHKIN – USF2000 #3
Qualifying: 9th – 2:12.099
Race 1: 6th
Race 2: 8th
Driver Quote: “”It was a good weekend at a great track that I was looking forward to drive at all year. We had a good start in practice, a bit unfortunate in qualification where between the red flag, drive through penalty and traffic I just did not manage to put a good lap together. Race one was a lot of fun, where it was a lot of action from the start. Looking at how the race unfolded in the end, it could have been a better result by a couple of positions if it wasn’t for some defensive driving that forced me off the road a few times. All good fun though. The second race was much more processional than that. I had some problems with the brakes halfway thought that made a bit of a gap to the pack up front, but once I got on top of it with the tools we have in the car as much as I could, I just closed back up on the cars in front at the very end so there wasn’t much action in that race.
JORDAN CANE – USF2000 #4
Qualifying: 6th – 2:11.635
Race 1: 21st
Race 2: 6th
Driver Quote: “The weekend from the get-go was going to be a big learning curve with the new team/car, a new track and very minimal track time. In practice one, we ended up P6 which wasn’t bad for our first time at the track, but in the following session, we had an engine sensor issue which caused us to miss the whole of the second session. On the day of qualifying, only doing four flying laps, we ended up P6. In Race 1, I just made a mistake four laps into the race causing us to retire three laps after the incident. After resetting my thoughts for Race 2, we started seventh and finished sixth with an early move at the start and with a suspension failure two laps into the 14-lap race. All in all, it was an up-and-down weekend, but I felt that I learnt a lot and came away from the weekend happy and feeling confident for the following round at Toronto.