Cape Motorsports w/ Wayne Taylor Racing Clinches Team Championship
Lexington, Ohio – Nico Jamin is on a roll. The 19-year-old Frenchman swept all three races that comprised this weekend’s Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, Rounds 12, 13 and 14 of the 16-race Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Jamin, driving for now four-time defending championship-winning team Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, now holds a commanding 50-point advantage going into the final double-header event of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 11-13.
Starting from the pole this morning, Jamin edged clear of the field with every lap of the 2.258-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, stretching his advantage over nearest championship rival, Jake Eidson (Pabst Racing) to almost six seconds before the advent of a full-course caution on Lap 14 due to a car stopped on course. Jamin again romped clear at the restart, with just two laps remaining, to take the checkered flag 1.6792 seconds clear of Eidson and score his seventh win of the year.
Jamin’s teammate, Aaron Telitz, remained in Eidson’s wheel tracks for the entire distance to finish third ahead of top rookie Parker Thompson (JDC MotorSports). The Canadian took advantage of some braking difficulties for Australian Anthony Martin (John Cummiskey Racing), who ran fourth in the early stages before making a couple of unscheduled off-course excursions which relegated him to 14th at the finish.
Thompson’s impressive charge from eighth on the grid to fourth on the first lap earned him the RePlay XD Move of the Race Award as well as the Tilton Hard Charger Award.
The Cape brothers, Dominic and Nicholas, claimed their eighth PFC Award as the winning team owners, while the Staubli Award went to Ayla Agren, who finished a strong sixth for Team Pelfrey behind teammate Garth Rickards.
Round 14 this afternoon witnessed yet another dominant performance from Jamin, who improved the fastest lap of the race on every tour except one (when he missed the mark by just 0.05 seconds) to again lead the field by more than 6.5 seconds before another late-race caution negated his advantage. Once again he had no problems at the restart, jumping clear of teammate Telitz, who had out-fumbled old adversary Eidson at the first corner for second.
Jamin became the first driver to sweep all three legs of a triple-header since the formation of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder in 2010. Remarkably, Jamin, Telitz and Eidson shared the podium for the seventh time in 14 races this year.
Martin rebounded from his disappointment this morning to finish hot on Eidson’s heels in fourth, chased by Thompson, who again earned the RePlay XD Move of the Race Award for another aggressive start which saw him gain three positions within the first few corners.
Thompson remained under pressure from Rickards until the pair almost made contact at the final restart, with two laps remaining, after which the unfortunate Rickards lost positions to both his teammate, Luke Gabin, and Sennan Fielding (Afterburner Autosport). Fielding’s teammate, Jack Mitchell Jr., found a way past Agren in the closing stages to secure both the Staubli Award and the Tilton Hard Charger Award, making up four positions to ninth after starting 13th. The PFC Award once again went to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing as the winning team owners.
The final two rounds of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, in Monterey, Calif., on September 11-13, where the final outcome of the MAZDASPEED Scholarship, to assist in graduation to the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2016, will be determined.
Nico Jamin (#2 Synova Automotive/Eco-Plastics-Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing): “I couldn’t have expected anything better coming into this weekend. I wanted to score huge points before the last race weekend of the championship. There is so much competition, it hasn’t been easy. Aaron really pushed me, especially at the starts. The track was very slippery, but we expected that. I was a little bit cautious in the second race but going into the Carousel, I still almost lost the car. The track came in as the race went on and I was very comfortable with the car. I just really love it here. We had a lot of test days here, so we had plenty of time to set up the car exactly the way I wanted it, so the car was just perfect all weekend. But this does change my mindset a little bit going into the last race weekend. I don’t need to win the races to win the championship. I’m going to keep attacking like I always do, but I won’t take big risks.”