Scott Anderson Claims Classy Victory for Belardi Auto Racing at Road America
Scott Anderson is the man on form in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. After securing his first-ever victory a couple of weeks ago at Mid-Ohio, and following up with a pair of podium finishes in races one and two at Road America for Belardi Auto Racing, the reigning Skip Barber National champion bounced back with another fine win on Saturday morning (August 18) to cap off a thrilling tripleheader race weekend for the burgeoning open-wheel development series, the first rung on the highly acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy.
Anderson started from the pole under a clear blue sky and managed to hold off the snarling 28-car field into turn one, whereupon early season pace-setter Spencer Pigot made a fine move to the inside on the exit and was able to assume the lead for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing under braking for turn three. Pigot’s teammate, Matthew Brabham, who won twice on Friday to snatch the series points lead from Pigot, also made a move past Anderson as the top three looked to break away from Matthew Di Leo (No. 56 Res Precast/MDL Racing), Shelby Blackstock (No. 8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport), Neil Alberico (No. 19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports), Luigi Biangardi (No. 15 Inject-It/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Karting/ArmsUp Motorsports) and the rest, led by JDC’s Scott Hargrove (No. 38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Skip Barber Racing School/Red Line Oil).
The action among the leaders was hot and heavy for the first three laps, as places changed on a regular basis around the fast, 4.048-mile road course. Finally, on lap three, Anderson used the draft to perfection along the long front straightaway and was able to wrest away the advantage from Pigot, who promptly lost another place to Brabham.
Anderson was able to establish a clear advantage as the two Cape Motorsports teammates battled amongst themselves for the next few laps, before Pigot managed to edge away from Brabham. The 18 year-old from Orlando, Fla., set the fastest lap of the race as he chased after Anderson, but couldn’t quite get close enough to make a real challenge.
Anderson, from Fort Collins, Colo., took the checked flag 1.689s clear of Pigot, with Brabham settling back into a comfortable third ahead of a battling Blackstock – who claimed his career-best finish of fourth, Di Leo and Alberico. Biangardi couldn’t quite match their pace, but held onto seventh ahead of Trent Hindman (No. 3 Premier Woodcraft/Zydro+/DFL Construction/RaceLite Protection/Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) and Hargrove.
The top 10 was completed by Michael Johnson (No. 54 SpeediCath/Coloplast/Universal Coating/ Alpinestars/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/Movement Arts Motorsport Marketing/JDC MotorSports), who posted a remarkable drive from the back of the field. Johnson, from Flint, Mich., who is paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle racing accident eight years ago, started last after being involved in an incident on the first lap in race two afternoon, but steadily worked his way forward to claim a career-best 10th-place finish.
“We came into this weekend with our success at Mid-Ohio and the team had a lot of confidence and I had a lot of confidence,” stated Anderson. “We used that to show some pretty good results and cover each step on the podium. Everyone has done an awesome job and I think now that we have a place up here, I will look forward to some more podiums the rest of the year.”
“Today ended up being a little bit of a better result,” commented Pigot. “We finally got everything how we wanted on the car and were able to show our pace. I have to thank the guys at Cape Motorsports for working so hard this weekend. Overall, it wasn’t the weekend we were looking for but we are not too far behind [in the championship] and we will be back strong at Baltimore.”
“I had a little bit of a disappointing race,” summed up Brabham. “It is hard to say that when I was on the podium. I managed to stay close in the championship through this race, but I just made a few personal mistakes in the opening laps and that really hurt me later on in the race. Overall, I am really, really happy with how the weekend went. It is really fantastic to be back in front in the championship and I am planning to stay there for the rest of the year.”
Another fine start by Norwegian teenager Henrik Furuseth (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) took him into the lead of the National Class for the second day running, where he remained for the duration of the 12-lap race which, like race two, was run under all-green conditions. RC Enerson (No. 10 Patriot Bank/ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing) finished second, but was subsequently penalized 30 seconds for avoidable contact, promoting Mark Eaton (Robinson Motor Sports) to the class runner-up position.
“This race was very good for me,” added Furuseth. “I had a good start and pulled away from the other guys early so I was able to stay in front the whole race. The car was very, very good and I have to thank everyone at Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing for their preparation all weekend.”
Brabham still leads the Championship Class standings by a 14-point margin over Pigot, 248-234, with Anderson now firmly ensconced in third at 198 points.
The USF2000 series will be back in action on the streets of Baltimore, Md., in two weeks’ time (September 1-2) for another pair of races which will be held in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series.
Contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, which was claimed by Johnson who went from 28th to 10th for a gain of 18 positions. The PFC Award for the winning car owner, which was issued to Belardi Auto Racing; and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, which was presented to Di Leo.
The top-three will be posted following every session on the EFCN Facebook page, and EFCN Twitter page.
Round 10 - Race Results
August 18, 2012
Road America - Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
|1.||Scott Anderson||Belardi Auto Racing||-||2:10.185|
|2.||Spencer Pigot||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||1.689||2:10.076|
|3.||Matthew Brabham||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||6.406||2:10.276|
|4.||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||9.366||2:10.808|
|5.||Matthew Di Leo||MDL Racing||9.966||2:10.819|
|6.||Neil Alberico||JDC MotorSports||11.126||2:10.825|
|7.||Luigi Biangardi||ArmsUp Motorsports||16.523||2:11.677|
|8.||Trent Hindman||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||16.926||2:10.894|
|9.||Scott Hargrove||JDC MotorSports||19.615||2:11.125|
|10.||Michael Johnson||JDC MotorSports||40.071||2:11.598|
|11.||Henrik Furuseth (N)||Cape Motorsports/Wayne Taylor Racing||46.016||2:13.764|
|12.||Heamin Choi||Afterburner Autosport||46.152||2:13.011|
|13.||Shannon McIntosh||Pabst Racing Services||55.328||2:13.827|
|14.||Mark Eaton (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||1:07.929||2:15.131|
|15.*||R.C. Enerson (N)||ZSports Midwest/Team E Racing||1:188.604||2:13.373|
|16.||J.R. Smart (N)||Pabst Racing Services||1:33.713||2:16.437|
|17.||Patrick Linn (N)||PRL Motorsports||1:58.886||2:19.036|
|18.||Eric Cruz (N)||Cruzinc Racing||1 Lap||2:22.589|
|19.||James Dayson (N)||ArmsUp Motorsports||1 Lap||2:23.886|
|20.||Colin Thompson||Belardi Auto Racing||2 Laps||2:11.125|
|21.||Thomas McGregor||Andretti Autosport||2 Laps||2:10.850|
|22.||Dalton Kellett||Pabst Racing Services||5 Laps||2:12.489|
|23.||Jason Wolfe||JAY Motorsports||6 Laps||2:12.567|
|24.||Patrick Gallagher (N)||JAY Motorsports||8 Laps||2:22.862|
|25.||Chris Miller||JDC MotorSports||11 Laps||2:42.692|
|26.||Joel Janco (N)||Robinson Motor Sports||11 Laps||2:44.228|
|27.||Luca Forgeois||Belardi Auto Racing||12 Laps||No-time|
|28.||Roman Lagudi||Belardi Auto Racing||12 Laps||No-time|