MONTEREY, Calif. – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing has already secured the Team Championship in the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, and this coming weekend, they’ll find out if one of their drivers will be crowned the series champion. Cape Motorsports’ Australian driver Anthony Martin leads the standings over his Canadian teammate Parker Thompson heading into the season finale for the opening rung of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, a doubleheader weekend at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, CA.
Martin is coming off a sweep of the tripleheader at Mid-Ohio, while Thompson aims to turn the tides with a career weekend in central California. Sophomore Nikita Lastochkin will complete the Cape trio and will be focused on capping off the season with success to fuel momentum for the 2017 campaign, which will feature the debut of the new USF-17 chassis.
“We’ve enjoyed a great season with the guys this year, scoring 11 wins thus far, taking our fifth straight Team Championship in the process,” enthused Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “Watching our guys fight it out for the title is the goal at the start of every season and they did not disappoint this year. Laguna Seca will be squeaky bum time for our boys. It’s going to be very tight, especially with Victor (Franzoni) ready to pounce, but as always, we are treating it as another race weekend. The job is to give our boys the best possible opportunity to challenge for a win.
Martin has seven wins to Thompson’s four victories, which equates to a 21-point lead in the championship entering this weekend’s finale. The prize for the winner of the head-to-head battle is both lucrative and prestigious, as the champion will receive the Mazda scholarship to run in the Pro Mazda Championship Powered by Mazda, following in the footsteps of former Cape drivers like Nico Jamin.
Lastochkin’s best finish of the year was fifth at Barber Motorsports Park, and he currently sits eighth in the overall championship standings.
The finale weekend for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will get underway on Friday, September 9 with practice at 10:15 am and 2:55 pm PDT. The Cape trio will qualify on Saturday morning at 10:05 am ahead of their first of two races at 4:05 pm. The second race of the doubleheader will be run at 11:20 am on Sunday morning, crowning the series champion. All times are Pacific Daylight Time. Fans of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, and our drivers, can follow the action with live streaming video on the Mazda Road to Indy app or the series website (www.usf2000.com).
Anthony Martin – USF2000 – #8 Burgess BLA
“Going into Laguna ahead in the championship points is very important, but there is also a lot of pressure on me. I know what I have to do to finish it off and I will be thinking of that. Of course though, I am going to be pushing very hard to be at the front and hopefully to win a couple races. I’ll have my parents there, so the support means a lot to me and I will want to finish on a high so I will be doing everything I can to accomplish that.”
Parker Thompson – USF2000 – #2 Weyburn Energy
“Headed into the last race of the year, it’s time to lay a full racing season’s blood, sweat and tears on the line for the championship. With my situation after a flat tire in Mid Ohio, the pressure is off. The target isn’t on my back like it has been all season. It’s time to use that to my advantage. I think the fans will get to see a different Parker behind the wheel! I’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Let’s see what I can make happen!”
Nikita Lastochkin – USF2000 – #9 Russkaya Mekhanika
“I’m very excited to finish the season off on a high, at what I consider my ‘home’ track in California, even though I live a few hours south of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I would say it is my favorite track here in US, with Road America and Watkins Glen being up there with it.”
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.