LEXINGTON, Ohio – Anthony Martin, from Perth, Australia, carried on this afternoon from where he left off yesterday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, scoring a second successive victory in the Allied Building Products USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio. Martin’s sixth win this year for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing allowed him to stretch his lead in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda to 15 points over teammate Parker Thompson, who finished second. At stake is a substantial Mazda scholarship to move on to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2017.
Brazilian Victor Franzoni finished third for ArmsUp Motorsports to earn his seventh podium finish in the last eight races.
Today’s race followed a similar pattern to yesterday’s, with Martin and Thompson once again the class of the 21-car field. The two teammates traded fastest laps as they inched clear of Dakota Dickerson (Afterburner Autosport) in third place. Next in line were Franzoni, Australian Jordan Lloyd (Pabst Racing) and Robert Megennis (Team Pelfrey).
On Lap 7, Dickerson slid wide on the exit of Turn Four, costing him a couple of positions. A little farther back down the order, Ayla Agren’s ninth-place John Cummiskey Racing Van Diemen-Mazda ground to a halt to ensure a brief full-course caution.
Martin maintained his lead at the restart, but the slow pace enabled several cars to challenge in his mirrors as the field jockeyed for position in Turn One. Franzoni managed to sneak past Thompson for second place, but only as far as Turn Four where Thompson redressed the balance with an opportunistic maneuver around the outside. Rookie Megennis also took advantage of the shuffling to vault from sixth to fourth, claiming bragging rights as the highest-placed American finisher, narrowly ahead of Dickerson and Garth Rickards (Pabst Racing).
Los Angeles-based Russian Nikita Lastochkin (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) finished seventh ahead of New York, N.Y.’s Austin McCusker (Chastain Motorsports/Primus Racing), who earned both the Staubli Award and the Tilton Hard Charger after rising from 15th on the grid.
Brothers Dominic and Nicholas Cape claimed another PFC Award as the winning car owners.
The third race of the weekend for the Allied Building Products USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio will start tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
Anthony Martin (#8 Burgess BLA-Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing): “It’s the championship game right now so as soon as I crossed the finish line, it was such a relief! It’s more points in the championship and I had a huge smile on my face the entire cool down lap. Parker was very fast and I had a hard job to try to keep him behind me. It isn’t easy to pass here so I knew that as long as I kept my nose clean and hit every apex I would have a good chance of winning the race. We made some changes yesterday that didn’t quite work, but we know what we need to do tonight to make the car faster tomorrow. The championship is so tight right now that we are fighting for every single point so winning two races and having the lead is great – but I know how quickly that can go away. I know that the Cape boys will give me a great car the rest of the way. We just have to keep it on top.”
Parker Thompson (#2 Weyburn Energy-Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing): “Yesterday was tough – you come in with a 20-point lead in the championship and in one race, you’re in a nine-point deficit. Anthony has been fast all week so we’re just trying to find a few things to be able to get by him. At least we were able to gain on him through the race and got fastest lap. But on the restart, Franzoni made a great pass to get around in Turn 1. We had interlocked wheels and everything – it was one of the scariest moments I’ve ever had at Mid-Ohio. I knew I had to get back by him and made a nice outside pass in Turn 3.”
Road to Indy