ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing will head into the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda with great confidence and momentum thanks to their off-season acquisitions, which will put three sophomore drivers under the tent for their series attack. It’s an international trio for certain, as Canadian Parker Thompson, Russian Nikita Lastochkin and Australian Anthony Martin will pilot the trademark white Van Diemens for the reigning USF2000 series champions. The eight-weekend, 16-race schedules commences in just over a week at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and will test the drivers on three unique racing disciplines on natural terrain road courses, temporary streets circuits and a single high-speed oval event. Ahead of the official campaign, the drivers will hit the track this weekend for an official test at Barber Motorsports Park, kicking the season into gear.
“It’s great to be getting back to racing,” said Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “Our pre-season test program has been one of the best we’ve had in years. The cars have run flawlessly, and the whole team has done a tremendous job so far. We’re really looking forward to our home race in St. Petersburg.”
Martin and Thompson finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the 2015 USF2000 championship battle, dicing it out on separate one-car teams. The two rookies learned quickly and showed great maturity and consistency, and they are expected to be extremely quick out of the box. Martin scored five podiums in 16 starts and finished all but two races in the top-five. Thompson was equally as impressive, picking up speed as the season progressed; posting seven top-five finishes throughout the season.
“I am so excited to be getting back in the car after a few months, and even more so that it will be with Cape Motorsport,” Martin enthused. “With testing coming up this week, it will be great to get with the team and learn from them for the upcoming season. It’s going to be a very challenging and competitive year and I can’t wait to give it everything I have.”
“I couldn’t be happier rolling into 2016 with the Cape Motorsports boys,” Thompson added. “I know this year is going to be extremely competitive in USF2000, but I am confident that with the guidance of Cape Motorsports, I will be fighting for wins week-in and week-out. It’s going to be a lot of hard work this year to take the championship, but I am ready to put my best performances on the line. I am very excited to get the season fired up in Alabama for the Barber Pre-Season Test.”
Lastochkin ran with Team Pelfrey in 2015 and finished eighth overall with a best result of fifth in the last race of the year at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and he finished only two races outside the top-10. The 25-year-old bested all three of his teammates in the season finale, putting in a solid performance to end his rookie campaign.
“It’s been a great winter break and I feel very confident coming into the first series test, and St. Pete as well,” Lastochkin offered. “Everyone at Cape Motorsports has been great to work with and having two strong teammates is something that I am very excited about. With a field that looks to be as competitive as ever, it is going to be a fun year and I’m ready to do my best to get the results.”
The 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda gets underway on March 11-13 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, but all three drivers will be on-track at the official series test this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. For more information on Cape Motorsports, please visit www.capemotorsports.com
About Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing:
Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing was formed in 2010 as a partnership between two successful racing entities. With leadership from brothers Nicholas and Dominic Cape, and along with Wayne Taylor and his organization in Indianapolis, the team campaigns cars in the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The goal of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing is to provide unmatched driver development both on and off the track. It is difficult for a young driver to jump into a professional series and win, regardless of talent. Through coaching and mentoring, Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing provides young drivers with as much knowledge of motorsports to become as successful as possible.