Brabham Strengthens Championship Lead on the Streets of Baltimore
 September 2, 2012| 
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Mark Eaton Comes from Behind to Claim National Class Spoils

Baltimore, MD. – Matthew Brabham tightened his grip on this year’s Cooper Tires USF20000 Championship Powered by Mazda by virtue of a flag-to-flag victory in today’s 16-lap USF2000 Baltimore Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products. The win was his fourth of the year for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and added to the team’s extremely successful season after already clinching the USF2000 Team Championship. Brabham’s title aspirations received a massive additional boost when teammate and title rival Spencer Pigot fell afoul of some slower traffic on Lap 10.

For the second day running, Brabham started from pole on the challenging 2.04-mile Baltimore Inner Harbor street circuit. In stark contrast to yesterday, Brabham this time maintained his advantage through the tight Turn One to lead Pigot and the remainder of the 28-car field. The duo remained in close formation until Lap 10 when they encountered some slower traffic. Brabham was able to squeeze by the lapped car but its driver was unaware that Pigot also was in close proximity and moved back across the road collecting Pigot and sending him into the wall and out of the race.


Brabham was left with a commanding lead over the battle for third between Scott Anderson (Belardi Auto Racing) and Scott Hargrove (JDC MotorSports). Both drivers had been involved in an incident at the chicane on the final lap in yesterday’s race while jousting over fourth position, and the JDC crew in particular had worked late into the night to repair the damage.
 
The pair resumed their fight this morning, this time for second place after Pigot’s unfortunate demise, with Anderson narrowly holding the advantage. Hargrove delighted himself and his hard-working crew with his first-ever visit to the USF2000 podium.

Neil Alberico of JDC MotorSports (#19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/Red Line Oil) drove his best race of the season thus far to finish a season-high fourth – his sixth top-six finish – ahead of Matthew Di Leo (#56 Res Precast for MDL Racing), who drove a brilliant race to rise from 26th on the grid. 

Colin Thompson (#11 The Thompson Organization/AWE Tuning/ Sparco/Laboratory Testing, Inc., RePlay XD, iRacing.com) looked poised to capture his best result of the season of fourth after starting 10th, but the Belardi Auto Racing driver’s car failed post-race technical inspection relegating him to 28th position in the final standings.

Brabham now leads the Championship Class standings by a commanding 41-point margin over Pigot with Anderson a further 26 points in arrears. Di Leo holds the fourth sport followed by Roman Lagudi of Belardi Auto Racing (#4 Champion Stone/Tool and Supply/High Performance Distributors).

Norwegian teenager Henrik Furuseth led the National class in the early stages before clipping a wall and breaking his car’s suspension. His Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing team repaired the damaged in pit lane but Furuseth finished only 10th in class in the #32 Palfinger/Akrene Mek Verksted entry and was unable to make up any ground on championship points leader RC Enerson (#10 Patriot Bank/Team E with ZSports with Team E Racing) who was eliminated in an incident on the opening lap.

In their stead, Mark Eaton drove a fine race for the Robinson Motor Sports team to claim a well-deserved second win of the season and his eighth top-three result in addition to a sixth-place overall finish. The Melbourne, Fla., driver’s results this weekend have made him a major player in the National Class standings as Enerson now holds a seven-point edge over Furuseth, with Eaton a further three points in arrears.

Contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, which was claimed by Di Leo for his gain of 21 positions; the PFC Award for the winning car owner, which was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing; and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, which was presented to Alberico.


The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will return to racing action in two weeks’ time for its season finale at Virginia International Raceway on September 13/14.

Matthew Brabham, #83 DTE Group (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – First:  “I am just happy how everything turned out at the end of the weekend. It was disappointing yesterday to make a few mistakes so today I was just concentrating on not making any mistakes, keeping it clean, staying out in front and out of trouble. It worked out for me in the end and the track was really, really fun to drive on. Cape Motorsports gave us awesome cars throughout the entire weekend which made it easy on us as drivers. I really was quick and I have to thank the team for that. I have to thank the city of Baltimore for a great event and USF2000, Cooper Tires and Mazda for doing all the work they do.”

Scott Anderson, #14 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Neuropathy Test Center/ Laser Nail Centers (Belardi Auto Racing) – Second: “We started in the same position as yesterday but I definitely had a better start today. I came out of the first corner in fourth and was able to pick up third position on the first lap. I think that was the key to this race and finishing on the podium as well as finding more speed in the car after working with my engineer last night. Overall, it was a pretty good weekend. It would have been nice to have had a podium yesterday but coming out second today is pretty good.”

Scott Hargrove, #38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Skip Barber Racing School/Red Line Oil (JDC MotorSports) – Third: “Today we started fourth which was a lot better than our starting spot yesterday. I didn’t get quite the start that I wanted and Scott [Anderson] made an awesome start and got past me. I was fifth right off the bat and, although I never made a pass the whole race, I was holding pressure on Scott. Just by luck, two guys went out in front of me and I managed to hold off the cars behind me and keep pressure on Scott. It worked out really well and the car was so good, especially after we tore three corners off of the car yesterday. We didn’t have much time to work on the setup and made a few changes and we didn’t have much time to talk about it but every change that we made was awesome. We crossed the line in third for my first [USF2000] podium and I can’t thank everyone enough including the team, the city of Baltimore and my sponsors.”

Mark Eaton, #92 Deathtolionfish.org/Valvoline (Robinson Motor Sports) – First National Class:  “We started on the outside this time thankfully because the inside was definitely not the place to be yesterday. I made a good start and just kept digging. Finally, and I don’t know if Henrik [Furuseth] had contact with the wall, but I just kept reeling him in. I saw him tag the wall in Turn Four and his car wasn’t any good after that. I was able to get ahead of him and pull out a lead and that was pretty much it. The race was over with a caution on the front straight.”

###

About Allied Building Products: Allied Building Products has been a partner of Andersen Racing since 2008, entertaining hundreds of Allied employees, customers and guests over the years. After serving as presenting sponsor for one double-header round of USF2000 competition (operated by Andersen Promotions) in 2011, Allied will expand its role to three events this season – the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (March 24-25), the Mid-Ohio Grand Prix (August 4-5) and the Baltimore Grand Prix (September 1-2). Allied’s guests will serve as trophy presenters and honorary starters for all six races and will host dinners with select USF2000 drivers.

Allied Building Products Corp. is a wholesale distributor of exterior and interior building materials with $1.7 billion in annual revenues. Allied services professional contractors in 30 states with residential and commercial roofing, waterproofing, siding, windows, drywall, acoustical, metal framing and solar products along with all related accessories. Allied is a division of Oldcastle, Inc., the North American holding company for CRH plc (NYSE: CRH). For more information about Allied Building Products, visit http://www.alliedbuilding.com/.

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