St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing claimed its fourth Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda driver championship in as many years as Florian Latorre won the title with a win in the season finale at the Grand Prix of Sonoma, August 22-23.
Latorre had to wait until the last race of the season to claim the championship after having his day end early in Race One. In the opening race, the young driver captured his ninth pole of the year and got a great start from fellow front row starter RC Enerson. With a car length lead going into Turn Two, Latorre left a small opening and Enerson went for it. The result was contact with left front to right rear wheel of Latorre’s car, sending the Cape driver into the air and tire wall. The race was over for Latorre, and Enerson went on to win the race. Cape teammate Jake Eidson failed to capitalize on the collision after starting third, and he slotted in behind fast starting Aaron Telitz and finished third.
The Capes and Latorre met with the stewards after the race, and although they were not happy with his decision not to penalize Enerson, they had to respect the call made by the Race Director.
With only a four-point lead over Enerson and eight points over teammate Eidson, Latorre and his championship rivals headed into the final race of the season. It was a must-win for both Cape Motorsports drivers.
After starting from his 10th pole, Latorre quickly lost the lead. With Eidson tucked in close behind, the three cars ran nose-to-tail with Latorre piling the pressure on Enerson. On Lap 9, Enerson locked up going into the hairpin, and on Lap 11, he had a big lockup in Turn Four. As they fought for the next couple of corners, Latorre got by on the exit of Turn Seven and pulled to a two-second lead en route to his third win of the year and the championship. Meanwhile Eidson was piling the pressure on Enerson trying to find a way by, but had to settle for third and a superb third in the championship.
Rookie Keyvan Andres Soori, of Germany, also had one of his best race weekends, finishing 11th in both races.
“We couldn’t be more excited and proud for Florian and Jake in the battle for the championship going into in the last race of the year," said team owners Dominic and Nicholas Cape. “The whole team did an incredible job considering we were 42 points behind going into the Indianapolis race in the beginning of May. Winning our fourth driver championship in a row and third team championship in a row is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team."
With his championship, Latorre earned the MAZDASPEED Driver Development Scholarship, worth in excess of $375,000, to graduate to the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2015.
Cape Motorsports have produced the last four driver championships, as Latorre follows Petri Suvanto, Matthew Brabham and Scott Hargrove.