|August 17, 2012 News
|USF2000: Brabham Takes Over Championship Lead with Double Wins at Road America
| Matthew Brabham took over the championship lead with a pair of wins at Road America|
(Photo: USF2000 Championship - John Hendrick)
Third-generation racer Matthew Brabham vaulted himself into the lead of the Cooper Tires USF20000 Championship Powered by Mazda by virtue of a pair of wins on Friday (August 17) at the fast and challenging Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Matthew Di Leo, Scott Anderson, and Spencer Pigot also visited the podium and will have another opportunity to make it onto the top step when the USF2000 Series completes its first-ever tripleheader race meeting in advance of the headlining American Le Mans Series Road Race Showcase.
Fresh off his maiden victory at Mid-Ohio Sports Car course two weeks ago, Anderson carried his form into qualifying by posting the fastest time in Belardi Auto Racing’s No. 14 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Neuropathy Testing Center/Laser Nail Centers Van Diemen-Mazda featuring the OtterCares Foundation. He was joined on the front-row for Round 8 in the morning affair by series points leader Pigot (No. 2 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/E-merging Technologies/Parathyroid.com/California Scents), while Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Brabham (No. 83 DTE Group) shared row two with Di Leo (No. 56 Res Precast/MDL Racing).
The race fell under caution soon after the start following a variety of incidents around the opening 4.048-mile lap, but not before Pigot had made a bold move around the outside in turn one to grasp the lead from Anderson, with Brabham also following past the polesitter.
After a lengthy clean-up, Brabham mirrored Pigot’s earlier move by snatching the advantage in turn one immediately after the restart. The grandson of three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jack Brabham and son of Le Mans winner Geoff Brabham never looked back, romping clear of his rivals to secure his second win of the season.
Pigot was given a penalty for blocking, which he served as the checkered flag was shown, but his misery was compounded when he exceeded the speed limit in pit lane, thus earning another 30-second penalty which dropped him from fifth to 16th in the final results.
Di Leo inherited second, narrowly ahead of Anderson following a race-long battle. Trent Hindman was fourth in the third Cape Motorsports entry, followed by Neil Alberico (JDC MotorSports) and Luigi Biangardi (ArmsUp Motorsports), who snuck past Roman Lagudi (Belardi Auto Racing) on the final lap.
An intense battle for National Class honors witnessed 15 year-old RC Enerson (ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing) snatch the honors with a final-lap pass of race-long leader Mark Eaton (Robinson Motor Sports).
“I am absolutely thrilled to be back up on the first step finally,” said Brabham. “I have been so quick recently but just haven’t been quite able to make that final step to the very front and win the race. So, this is fantastic and it is awesome to get back into the championship lead. I thought it was going to be a tough season for me for the rest of the year to try to get back those points I lost at Mid-Ohio, but I am sure Spencer will be back fighting for the championship and it will be a close battle until the end.”
“I finished second again today which is good in carrying the momentum from Mid-Ohio and I am confident now for our next race,” stated Di Leo. “This race was good. I started fourth and after the restart, I made my way back up to third and got away from Scott Anderson. I was battling with Spencer Pigot and kept trying to get him in Turn Five but could never make the move on the outside and had to settle behind him for a bit. Then he got the drive-thru penalty which gave me second. I am totally pumped for the next race, but I don’t want the second and the thirds, I want to bring it to the top now.”
“Coming into the race and starting on pole, we were expecting to do a little bit better,” commented Anderson. “We obviously have the speed. Now it is just a matter of getting that speed early on and taking advantage of it more quickly so we can fight the entire race for first instead of third.”
“At the start, it was hectic,” added Enerson. “You see people flying everywhere and a couple of cars go into the sand trap. I was just trying to dodge some debris and some wings. When the yellow came out, I was third in class. From there, I just had to work, work, work. I passed Patrick Gallagher and I had a great run with Mark Eaton. It was a great battle and I was able to pass him on the last lap going into Turn Five. I didn’t think I was going to be able to make the corner and I just stretched it coming into the checker.”
Round Nine in the afternoon had the grid decided according to each competitor’s fastest race lap from the earlier outing, with Brabham on pole ahead of Anderson, Pigot, and Di Leo.
Once again, Brabham displayed a clear rear wing to his pursuers as he took off into the lead and was never seriously challenged during the 12-lap race, which was unencumbered by cautions.
The top four positions remained unchanged, with Anderson claiming his fourth straight podium finish in second – and earning an additional bonus point for setting the fastest lap – ahead of Pigot and Di Leo. Alberico secured fifth after a protracted battle with Hindman.
In the National class, Henrik Furuseth bounced back impressively from an accident in the opening race which meant he had to start way back in 25th the afternoon race. No matter, as the talented young Norwegian fought his way to the front and held off Enerson to win by less than a second. Furuseth established a new National Class lap record for good measure.
“It was great, just fantastic to get another win,” stated Brabham. “I am very happy with how things have gone this weekend. It was good to get those race wins under my belt. I’ve been struggling a little bit to get to that next step on the podium, but the car was really, really good through the race. It was good enough to keep me out in front so I was really happy with the team. The track conditions were a lot tougher than the race before and the guys were putting a lot more pressure behind me. Scott [Anderson] was really quick mid-race and I was starting to get a bit worried but in the end it turned out really well and I am looking forward to the next race.”
“This race was definitely an improvement from the first race,” commented Anderson. “The start of the race was much better than this morning’s and I was able to really come on strong right away and kind of pressure [Matthew] Brabham during the middle of the race. I think we may have something to work on car-wise and maybe something where I could have helped to save the tires at the end but I feel like everyone had the same problem. I am looking forward to a good race tomorrow and, being on pole, hopefully I can do a little bit better.”
“It was an improvement from the race this morning, so at least we were able to get on the podium,” said Pigot. “Hopefully, we will be able to go back and look over everything and make some improvements to the car for tomorrow and we’ll be able to fight for the win.”
“It was a very good race for me,” added Furuseth. “I had a good start and I was able to pass RC [Enerson] fairly quickly and was able to hold him behind me the whole race. He was putting pressure on me so it was quite tough, but the car was very good. I have to thank my team Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing for that. They did a great job in fixing the car after the crash in Race 1.”
Race one contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, which was claimed by Afterburner Autosport’s Heamin Choi (No. 21 F1PILOT.com) who went from 28th to 12th for a gain of 16 positions. The PFC Award for the winning car owner, which was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing; and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, which was presented to Biangardi (No. 15 Inject-It/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Racing with ArmsUp Motorsports).
Contingency awards for race two included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, which was claimed by Belardi Auto Racing’s Luca Forgeois (No. 9 Gearup/Splashlight/Café Noir) who went from 26th to 12th for a gain of 14 positions. The PFC Award for the winning car owner, which was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing; and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, which was presented to Hindman (No. 3 Premier Woodcraft/Zydro+/DFL Construction/RaceLite Protection with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing).
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda tripleheader in Wisconsin concludes on Saturday morning (August 18), with Round Ten at Road America.
The top-three will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.
Round 8 - Race Results
August 17, 2012
Road America - Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
|1.||Matthew Brabham||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||-||2:10.004|
|2.||Matthew Di Leo||MDL Racing||5.146||2:10.838|
|3.||Scott Anderson||Belardi Auto Racing||5.476||2:10.504|
|4.||Trent Hindman||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||12.395||2:10.849|
|5.||Neil Alberico||JDC MotorSports||13.530||2:11.391|
|6.||Luigi Biangardi||ArmsUp Motorsports||15.683||2:12.061|
|7.||Roman Lagudi||Belardi Auto Racing||16.811||2:12.747|
|8.||Scott Hargrove||JDC MotorSports||17.467||2:12.318|
|9.||Colin Thompson||Belardi Auto Racing||17.484||2:12.502|
|10.||Dalton Kellett||Pabst Racing Services||18.007||2:12.692|
|11.||Michael Johnson||JDC MotorSports||21.848||2:11.256|
|12.||Heamin Choi||Afterburner Autosport||22.524||2:12.696|
|13.||Brian Tomasi||Afterburner Autosport||26.366||2:13.232|
|14.||R.C. Enerson (N)||ZSports Midwest/Team E Racing||38.510||2:15.837|
|15.||Mark Eaton (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||39.016||2:16.406|
|16.*||Spencer Pigot||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||42.624||2:10.802|
|17.||Patrick Gallagher (N)||JAY Motorsports||1:07.354||2:15.957|
|18.||Eric Cruz (N)||Cruzinc Racing||1:24.850||2:23.100|
|19.||Joel Janco (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||1:52.485||2:26.471|
|20.||James Dayson (N)||ArmsUp Motorsports||1:55.437||2:22.853|
|21.||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||1 Lap||2:11.425|
|22.||Chris Miller||JDC MotorSports||5 Laps||2:16.490|
|23.||Thomas McGregor||Andretti Autosport||10 Laps||3:22.910|
|24.||Luca Forgeois||Belardi Auto Racing||10 Laps||3:22.760|
|25.||Shannon McIntosh||Pabst Racing Services||10 Laps||3:21.410|
|26.||Jason Wolfe||JAY Motorsports||10 Laps||3:23.236|
|27.||Henrik Furuseth (N)||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||10 Laps||3:22.391|
|28.||J.R. Smart (N)||Pabst Racing Services||10 Laps||3:22.223|
(N) = National class
* = Given 30-second penalty for speeding in pitlane
Round 9 - Race Results
August 17, 2012
Road America - Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
|1.||Matthew Brabham||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||-||2:09.968|
|2.||Scott Anderson||Belardi Auto Racing||0.918||2:09.656|
|3.||Spencer Pigot||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||3.518||2:09.932|
|4.||Matthew Di Leo||MDL Racing||8.242||2:10.494|
|5.||Neil Alberico||JDC MotorSports||12.127||2:10.589|
|6.||Trent Hindman||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||13.202||2:10.795|
|7.||Luigi Biangardi||ArmsUp Motorsports||13.888||2:10.503|
|8.||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||16.965||2:10.719|
|9.||Roman Lagudi||Belardi Auto Racing||22.902||2:11.537|
|10.||Colin Thompson||Belardi Auto Racing||23.188||2:11.392|
|11.||Chris Miller||JDC MotorSports||24.978||2:11.341|
|12.||Luca Forgeois||Belardi Auto Racing||30.354||2:10.803|
|13.||Scott Hargrove||JDC MotorSports||39.181||2:11.452|
|14.||Jason Wolfe||JAY Motorsports||44.591||2:12.116|
|15.||Brian Tomasi||Afterburner Autosport||48.673||2:13.059|
|16.||Dalton Kellett||Pabst Racing Services||49.331||2:11.944|
|17.||Henrik Furuseth (N)||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||51.658||2:13.296|
|18.||R.C. Enerson (N)||ZSports Midwest/Team E Racing||52.574||2:13.520|
|19.||Mark Eaton (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||1:06.459||2:14.412|
|20.||Patrick Gallagher (N)||JAY Motorsports||1:06.742||2:14.462|
|21.||Shannon McIntosh||Pabst Racing Services||1:09.106||2:13.724|
|22.||J.R. Smart (N)||Pabst Racing Services||1:55.057||2:15.578|
|23.||Patrick Linn (N)||PRL Motorsports||2:01.003||2:18.425|
|24.||Eric Cruz (N)||Cruzinc Racing||1 Lap||2:22.818|
|25.||James Dayson (N)||ArmsUp Motorsports||1 Lap||2:21.773|
|26.||Joel Janco (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||1 Lap||2:26.388|
|27.||Heamin Choi||Afterburner Autosport||7 Laps||2:15.366|
|28.||Thomas McGregor||Andretti Autosport||11 Laps||2:19.248|
|29.||Michael Johnson||JDC MotorSports||12 Laps||No-time|
(N) = National class