Monterey, Calif. – One day after clinching the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and a Mazda scholarship prize valued at over $380,000, Nico Jamin maintained his extraordinary run of success for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing by dominating this afternoon’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix Powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The victory was his 10th of the season and sixth in succession. It was also the sixth race in a row in which the 19-year-old Frenchman had scored a maximum 33 points, including bonuses for pole position, most laps led and the fastest race lap.
Teammate Aaron Telitz finished a lonely second, well clear of Pabst Racing’s Jake Eidson, who worked his way up from fifth on the opening lap. It was the eighth time in 16 races the trio had shared in the podium ceremonies.
Jamin immediately jumped clear at the start and controlled the pace of the 21-lap race before taking the checkered flag 8.4066 seconds clear of Telitz.
Top rookie Anthony Martin (John Cummiskey Racing), from Kalgoorlie, Australia, made a fine getaway to briefly challenge the two leaders into Turn Two before settling into third place, which he held until sliding off the track on the exit of Turn Six on Lap 4. The incident dropped him to fifth, behind fellow Australian Luke Gabin (Team Pelfrey) and Eidson, who had found himself shuffled down two positions at the start.
Gabin’s misfortunes continued when his car developed a misfire, causing him to make a visit to the pits and costing any chance of a strong finish.
Eidson thereby took over in third, chased by the recovering Martin and Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin, who followed up his fine effort on Saturday with an even better performance today on the 2.238-mile road course. Lastochkin closed steadily on Martin in the closing stages en route to a season-best fifth-place finish.
Peter Portante capped his return to USF2000 with a strong effort for ArmsUp Motorsports which netted a sixth-place result. The youngster from Plainville, Conn., earned both the Tilton Hard Charger Award for making up three positions during the race and the RePlay XD Move of the Race Award for his impressive maneuvers immediately after the start.
Portante was followed across the line by Norway’s Ayla Agren (Team Pelfrey), German Keyvan Andres Soori (ArmsUp Motorsports) and China’s Yufeng Luo (Pabst Racing), who had been involved in a race-long battle for position.
Nico Jamin (#2 Synova Automotive/Eco-Plastics-Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing): “I was in a very comfortable situation in this race. The championship was done, so I had no pressure but I still wanted to win the last race of the year. I went for it. I had some help from Jake at the start so I was able to keep the lead out of the first corner. I had to keep doing good laps and not lose my focus. It was a great day yesterday for me, my family and my team.”