MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – One of the key components of the Mazda Road to Indy is the focus on driver development through a calculated combination of permanent road courses, temporary street circuits and ovals. The IndyCar Series will run a total of six oval races in 2014, so training the young up-and-coming MRTI drivers to excel at this unique discipline is extremely important. The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda program introduces its racers to oval competition with a single trip to the 5/8-mile banked short track at Lucas Oil Raceway for the annual ‘Night Before the 500’ event. Multi-time championship winning race team JDC MotorSports will bring the every-improving Clark Toppe to Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend (May 24). Toppe showed well in the Road to Indy test session that was held at the track last Tuesday (May 13) and is now ready to take to the track in search of continued improvement and ultimate success.
Toppe is coming off a strong fourth place finish in the second USF2000 race during the Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend, as well as a win earlier in the year in the Cooper Tires Winterfest race at NOLA Motorsports Park in February. It’s been a solid start to the new season for the Texan, who now sits ninth in series points. In the test that took place last week, Toppe turned the fourth fastest time on the day, which gives the 16-year-old series sophomore both confidence and momentum heading to the event for the second year.
"I definitely feel a lot more comfortable on the oval this year,” Toppe commented. “JDC has set a really good platform on the car to succeed this year on the oval. We showed good speed at the test, which I believe we can carry into the race weekend to get a strong result.”
The annual ‘Night Before the 500’ event at the 5/8-mile oval at Lucas Oil Raceway will take place on May 24. The team will spend Friday at the facility, as the USF2000 series will be on-track for two extended practice sessions in the afternoon and evening. Single-car qualifying begins on Saturday afternoon, with the USF2000 drivers timing in at 4:10 pm. The race is set for 7:40 pm. Live timing and streaming audio play-by-play will be available on the series website.
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from RedLineOil.com and HR-Sportswear About JDC MotorSports:
Involved in formula car racing since its inception in 1994, JDC MotorSports has established itself as one of the leading junior open-wheel teams in North America. Initially making its mark in the F2000 class of club racing competition, JDC MotorSports was soon a team worth watching in the pro ranks. Competing in the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship, the team not only won races, but also helped develop multiple young drivers. In 2005, JDC MotorSports expanded its efforts, entering the Star Mazda Championship.
Quickly becoming one of the top teams in the series, JDC captured both the driver and team titles in 2007, as well as Rookie of the Year honors, with Dane Cameron scoring a series-high three wins. In 2008, JDC MotorSports was the runner-up in the Star Mazda Championship and finished fourth in its inaugural season of F2000 Championship Series competition. The Minnesota-based team won the Star Mazda Championship title with Rookie of the Year Adam Christodoulou, and the F2000 Championship Series title with Chris Miller in 2009.
The following year, JDC continued its winning ways, earning the Rookie of the Year award in the Star Mazda Championship with Connor De Phillippi, and scoring a non-points win in the USF2000 National Championship. In 2011, the Minneapolis-based squad captured its third Star Mazda Championship title with Tristan Vautier, scored a win in the USF2000 National Championship, and made its Prototype Lites Championship debut, earning five podium finishes. JDC MotorSports added to its Star Mazda Championship win tally, USF2000 Championship podium total, and finished as the Prototype Lites Championship runner-up in 2012. Last year, the squad continued its run of Pro Mazda and USF2000 podium finishes, and was third in the Prototype Lites title fight.