|August 05, 2012 News
|USF2000: Anderson Kept His Head to Earn First Series Victory at Mid-Ohio
| Scott Anderson made the most of an early race opportunity to score his first series win in race two of the Mid-Ohio doubleheader|
(Photo: USF2000 Championship - John Hendrick)
Steadily improving rookie driver Scott Anderson drove an impressive race in treacherous conditions to secure a well-deserved first victory in Sunday’s (August 5) Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered Mazda Round Seven race during the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products.
Last year’s Skip Barber National Series Champion started third in Belardi Auto Racing’s No. 14 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Neuropathy Testing Center/Laser Centers Van Diemen-Mazda, but took the lead midway around the first lap when front-row starters, championship rivals and Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammates Matthew Brabham and Spencer Pigot ran off the road in unison at turn six while disputing the lead.
On a track still wet from a thundershower earlier in the morning, Anderson immediately pulled out a slight advantage over Brabham and Pigot, and remained in front when the caution flags flew on lap three following a couple of incidents farther down the field. The 23 year-old from Fort Collins, Colo., maintained his lead on the restart, and was then gifted a little more breathing space when Brabham and Pigot tangled together for a second time at turn six to ensure another full-course caution.
Excellent work by the ever-diligent corner workers left enough time in the shortened race for a one-lap dash to the checkers. Once again Anderson kept his cool – and his lead – to finally break the string of six consecutive wins by the Cape Motorsports team.
Anderson set the fastest lap of the race for good measure on the ninth and final lap to claim an additional championship point, consolidating his fourth-place position overall in the standings with seven races remaining.
“I had some really good opening laps at the start of the race and was able to put a decent gap on Spencer [Pigot] and Matt [Brabham],” stated Anderson. “After that, with the restarts, they were able to get some pretty close attempts at me. At the end, I was just trying to hang on to the car and keep a gap and really not throw it off. I was happy to bring it home and extremely happy to have a win. I have to say a huge thanks to the Belardi Auto Racing guys and MAZDASPEED Motorsports.”
Matthew Di Leo finished a career-best second in his family-run Res Precast MDL Racing Van Diemen-Mazda, narrowly ahead of Trent Hindman, who enjoyed another strong run for Cape Motorsports in the No. 3 Premier Woodcraft/Zydro+/DFL Construction/RaceLite Protection/Skip Barber Racing School/Sparco car, Luigi Biangardi (No. 15 Inject-It/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Racing/ArmsUp Motorsports) and Shelby Blackstock (No. 8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport).
“Before the race, my main goal was to finish because yesterday I had a spin in one of the opening laps,” said Di Leo. “I ended up coming in second, which is great. The race was wicked coming from sixth all the way up to second. There were constant battles, some carnage; and the oil-dry around the race track [from the World Challenge cars] really made the race interesting. Drivers were running a lot closer because no one could make a big gap on each other. We were always toe-to-toe and wheel-to-wheel and the fans were loving it. You could see them cheering when we came around for the final lap. It was great having a last lap battle with Trent [Hindman] to give the fans a good show and I had an awesome time. I would like to thank my sponsors Res Precast and Mi-Jack for a great weekend as well as my parents and MDL Racing for making this all possible.”
“It was incredible,” added Hindman. “I am super happy to be back on the podium. I haven’t seen it since [the Cooper Tires] Winterfest, so it has been awhile. It feels really good. The race itself was really, really tough. There was a lot of debris on the track following the World Challenge race. Everyone had the same conditions to deal with and you just had to play your card and do everything you can to keep yourself in the fight. Luckily, I kept out of trouble and was able to bring the car home third. The battle with Matt [Di Leo] on the last lap was really good and I just wish I was able to hang on to second. A little mistake cost us but, hopefully, the next time I am on the podium it will be a win. I have to thank everyone at Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Dominic and Nicholas did an awesome job in setting up the car and it was beautiful to drive even in these type of conditions. It was a really good race and I am very pleased with the result.”
Neil Alberico bounced back from a disappointing day on Saturday, when his No. 19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry suffered a mechanical problem while challenging for a top-six finish, to claim sixth in race two. Dalton Kellett (#5 K-Line Insulators USA Inc/Pabst Racing Services), took seventh, securing a career-best finish for the second successive day, ahead of National Class winner Henrik Furuseth (No. 32 Palfinger/Akrene Mek Verksted/Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing).
Furuseth, who started 19th, drove a spectacular first lap to cross the line in 10th position. He finished eighth overall to claim his second National Class victory and close to within one point of RC Enerson (No. 10 Patriot Bank/Team E/ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing) who finished 11th overall and third in class.
“It was an amazing race for me,” commented Furseth. “The car was fantastic and I was able to make a good start. It was a perfect day and I have to thank the team for setting up the car so very well. I am aiming for the championship; that is my goal for this year.”
Local driver Jim Libecco, from Solon, Ohio, also drove a strong race to finish a career-best ninth – and second in the National class – with the No. 98 Akron Skin Center/www.akronskin.com JAY Motorsports Van Diemen-Mazda FE entry.
Contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, was claimed by Mark Eaton (No. 92 Deathtolionfish.org/ Valvoline/Robinson Motor Sports). The PFC Award for the winning car owner, was issued to Belardi Auto Racing, and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, was presented to Thomas McGregor (No. 7 Dairy Queen/Exclusive Management/Andretti Autosport).
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will be back on track in two weeks time with the series’ first tripleheader event at Road America on August 17-18, in support of the American Le Mans Series.
The top-three will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.
Round 7 - Race Results
August 5, 2012
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course - Lexington, Ohio
|1.||Scott Anderson||Belardi Auto Racing||-||1:30.139|
|2.||Matthew Di Leo||MDL Racing||1.726||1:31.657|
|3.||Trent Hindman||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||2.149||1:31.869|
|4.||Luigi Biangardi||ArmsUp Motorsports||2.705||1:32.255|
|5.||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||3.299||1:32.485|
|6.||Neil Alberico||JDC MotorSports||4.008||1:32.831|
|7.||Dalton Kellett||Pabst Racing Services||4.799||1:33.275|
|8.||Henrik Furuseth (N)||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||5.248||1:33.535|
|9.||Jim Libecco (N)||JAY Motorsports||6.905||1:34.560|
|10.||Thomas McGregor||Andretti Autosport||7.345||1:33.798|
|11.||R.C. Enerson (N)||ZSports Midwest/Team E Racing||8.379||1:33.855|
|12.||Paul Alspach (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||8.392||1:35.228|
|13.||Chris Miller||JDC MotorSports||8.670||1:33.880|
|14.||Mark Eaton||Robinson Motor Sports||10.960||1:36.869|
|15.||Heamin Choi||Afterburner Autosport||11.044||1:34.274|
|16.||Roman Lagudi||Belardi Auto Racing||12.148||1:29.009|
|17.||Patrick Linn (N)||PRL Motorsports||12.672||1:37.914|
|18.||Shannon McIntosh||Pabst Racing Services||13.621||1:39.232|
|19.||Joel Janco (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||20.167||1:43.566|
|20.||J.R. Smart (N)||Pabst Racing Services||23.906||1:46.113|
|21.||Eric Cruz (N)||Cruzinc Racing||26.482||1:46.906|
|22.||Luca Forgeois||Belardi Auto Racing||1 Lap||1:31.790|
|23.||Spencer Pigot||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||1 Lap||1:31.555|
|24.||Michael Johnson||JDC MotorSports||3 Laps||1:36.079|
|25.||Matthew Brabham||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||4 Laps||1:33.398|
|26.||Patrick Gallagher (N)||JAY Motorsports||7 Laps||1:39.573|
|27.||Scott Rettich (N)||Alliance Autosport||7 Laps||1:39.490|
|28.||Colin Thompson||Belardi Auto Racing||8 Laps||2:04.761|
|29.||Jason Wolfe||JAY Motorsports||8 Laps||2:03.256|
|30.||Brian Tomasi||Afterburner Autosport||9 Laps||No-time|