Californian caught up in lap two incident after showing good speed at Lucas Oil Raceway
LOS GATOS, CALIF. – For rising junior formula car racer Neil Alberico, Round Five of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda proved to be an anti-climatic affair. After showing good speed in the lead-up to the prestigious Night Before the 500 race, the JDC MotorSports rookie's oval debut ended after just one lap via an unavoidable incident at Lucas Oil Raceway.
When Alberico first looked at the USF2000 Championship schedule, one race stood out, Round Five at Lucas Oil Raceway. With the goal of one-day racing in the famed Indianapolis 500, the lone oval on the series calendar was the first opportunity for the former Bondurant Championship Race Series champion to showcases his talents on a banked circle track.
Alberico, as planned, spent the opening three-hour test run on Friday and subsequent two practice runs on Saturday working on fine-tuning his No. 19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/ Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports racing steed for the 0.686-mile track. Continually learning, the reigning Team USA scholarship winner ultimately cracked the top-eight in all three runs.
Alberico further showcased his talents behind the wheel in single-car qualifying. Without the added benefit of a draft from another car, the JDC MotorSports rookie standout secured a strong row three starting position via the fifth best two-lap combined time.
A short time later it was time to go racing in front of a excited Night Before the 500 crowd. Alberico got away cleanly when the green flag waved, immediately looking for a way to join the fight for a place on the podium. Disaster struck however one lap later as the field entered turn one for the second time. A car in the leading pack spun, leaving Alberico nowhere to go. Unable to avoid the incident, the California racer actually briefly got airborne before coming to rest on top another car against the outside retaining wall. Fortunately, Alberico quickly exited his damaged JDC MotorSports entry unharmed, albeit frustrated and disappointed his race was over so soon.
"Unfortunately there is a large percentage of motorsport that is out of your control, and as a team we have to move on and continue to work hard together to fight for wins at the next event," commented the 19 year-old. "We will turn our luck around and leave this race behind us. I cannot thank all the JDC boys enough for all their effort, and I am now focused on bouncing back at Mid-Ohio."
The quest for a rookie win in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continues for Alberico on August 3-4, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The California teenager enters the Round Six and Seven doubleheader having been among the top-10 throughout official testing at the Ohio road course in early May.
Those interested in supporting Alberico's rise up the motorsports ladder are encouraged to contact Neil Alberico directly @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Neil Alberico at neilalberico.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ NeilAlberico and his Facebook page @ Neil-Alberico-Racing.
### About Neil Alberico:
A native of Los Gatos, Calif., Alberico first started racing karts at the age of 10, competing in IKF region 11 action. Over the course of four seasons (2004-07), the young talent captured the Junior Sportsman, Junior Super Sportsman, and Junior Puma championship titles. In 2008, Alberico first got behind the wheel of a race car, graduating from the Skip Barber 2-day Advanced school at Laguna Seca prior to participating in the Formula BMW recruitment day at Miller Motorsports Park. Continuing to race in the karting ranks while raising funds to pursue a career in motorsports, Alberico won the Snap-On Stars of Karting Series National finale in Las Vegas in 2009, before finishing third in CKI National TAG Senior championship. Alberico built on this success in 2010, winning the TaG Senior class in the WSK North American Series, as well as the Bondurant Championship Race Series, capturing 10 wins in first full season of car competition. As part of the prize package for winning the Bondurant Championship, the teenager tested a Pro Formula Mazda with World Speed Motorsports and a Formula Atlantic Swift 016.a with Finlay Motorsports. In 2011, Alberico made his European racing debut, competing in the world-renowned Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain with Irish-based Cliff Dempsey Racing. Finish ninth in his maiden FF season, the Californian earned a Team USA Scholarships. As a Team USA driver, he captured a Semi-Final win and finished third in the historic 40th Formula Ford Festival. Alberico joins the Mazda Road to Indy program in 2012, driving for JDC MotorSports in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda.