CAPE MOTORSPORTS CONFIRMS DONISON AS FIRST USF2000 DRIVER
Champion karter from India set for Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires debut
ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA (February 21, 2017) – Cape Motorsports is pleased to confirm their first driver in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Kart racer Rick Donison, a winner of multiple national karting titles in his native country of India, will make his Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires debut at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which will kick off the season in just over two weeks. The 18-year-old will pilot the #2 USF-17 for the multi-time championship winning team, and the entry will be sponsored by JK Tyres.
“We are really excited to have Ricky compete on behalf of our team this year,” offered Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “The tests have gone well, and he has shown great improvement, so we’re looking of big things from him.”
Over the last four years, Donison has worked on his racecraft running the JK Tyres Rotax Max National karting series, launching his career with the ‘Best Newcomer of the Year Award’ in the Junior Max category in 2013. Donison swept the JK Tyres National Rookie Cup in 2014, winning all 10 races, and then went on to win eight out of 10 races in the National Kart Open Championship. The young driver then capped the season by winning the Rotax National Championship. Ricky moved to the Senior Max class in 2015 and again dominated the National Kart Open Championship, winning eight out of eight races. He extended his schedule to race the Rotax Max Asia Championship and was fourth overall, becoming the first Indian driver to finish in the top-five in the Asian program. Donison once again dominated the JK Tyres Rotax National Championship, winning the title in his rookie year as a senior on the strength of five straight pole position starts and a four-for-five victory record. Last year, he dominated both the JK Tyres National Kart Open Championship and National Rotax Max Championship to extend his streak to three titles. In addition, he finished as the vice-champion in the Rotax Max Asia Championship, although an on-going technical protest could still result in him winning the title.
Having wrapped his impressive karting career, Donison is ready to tackle his next challenge. Ricky logged some initial formula car seat time running in a few Formula BMW India and UAS F4 races, and is looking forward to his first full season of car racing.
“I haven’t done a great deal of running in cars yet, so it’s going to be quite a big step moving up from karts, but I am really looking forward to racing the USF2000 series and taking the Mazda Road to Indy, especially because no other Indian has ever taken this route, so I will be the first,” Donison enthused. “Testing is going well so far and I am adapting to the car rather quickly, but I still have some work to do. I’ll be sure to be there when it matters. My expectations aren’t too high because it’s my first year properly racing cars and my first year in the championship with new cars and tracks that I’ve never driven. I’m hoping to consistently be in the top-5 or 6 every race. I’m really looking forward to the first round in St. Petersburg!”
The team will participate in two official test days at Homestead-Miami Speedway on February 28 and March 1 ahead of the season opener in St. Petersburg. The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg is scheduled for March 10-12 and will feature all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires to support the Verizon IndyCar Series. Fans of Donison and Cape Motorsports can follow all the action live throughout the season on the Mazda Road to Indy app or through the MRTI.TV website (www.roadtoindy.tv).
The team is hoping to make the official announcement of their second USF2000 driver within the week.
TSO Ladder Notes from Steve:
- Donison is the first Cape Motorsports entry and 13th driver confirmed for the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda season, joining: Moises de la Vara (DEForce Racing), Kory Enders (DEForce Racing), Rinus VK (Carlin/Benik), Devin Wojcik (ArmsUp Motorsports), Chandler Horton (RJB Motorsports), Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey), Parker Thompson (Exclusive Autosport), Andre Castro (Newman Sachs Racing), Calvin Ming (Pabst Racing), Ayla Agren (Team Pelfrey), and Lucas Kohl (Pabst Racing).
- Donison, who twice represented India at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, doesn’t have much experience in cars, but did score three podiums in his debut at the inaugural Formula 4 UAE Championship rounds at the Yas Marina Circuit.
- If Donison’s sponsor, the Delhi, India based JK Tyres, sounds familiar to MRTI fans, it’s because you have seen it before. Indiana driver Armaan Ebrahim made five Indy Lights starts backed by the company in 2012.
- The St. Petersburg, Florida based Cape Motorsports will be going for their sixth straight Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda when the 2017 campaign opens in their hometown on March 10, 2017.
- TSO Ladder fully expects the second Cape Motorsports driver to be MRTI $200K Scholarship Shootout winner Oliver Askew to announced at the same time as fellow Mazda Scholarship winners Anthony Martin (2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda champion) and Aaron Telitz (Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire champion)
- You can follow Donison on the following social media platforms: Twitter – Instagram – Facebook