Dickerson and Afterburner Autosport Post Season’s First Top Five
 July 20, 2016| 
  • Team News

TORONTO – Afterburner Autosport and their rookie Mazda Road to Indy driver Dakota Dickerson continue to make significant strides towards challenging for podiums in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.  Dickerson, the 19-year-old Mazda scholarship winner, posted a pair of top-12s at Road America in late June and turned up his game this past weekend on the streets of Toronto when he finished seventh in the opening race before scoring his first top-five finish in the backend of the doubleheader.  Dickerson drove his ‘Soul Red’ Mazda-backed Van Diemen to an impressive fourth on Sunday, turning a lot of heads in the paddock with a flawless weekend on an extremely challenging racecourse. 

“We’re really happy with how Dakota is developing and how he is approaching each new event,” commented Tim Walsh, Afterburner Autosport team owner. “Our communication is improving vastly, and his poise and maturity on the racetrack is impressive.  We were quick out of the trailer in Toronto and we just got better as the weekend progressed. We can’t wait to get to Mid-Ohio.” 

On Friday, Dickerson was eighth and sixth, in the first two practice sessions of the weekend, respectively, taking the time to learn the difficult 1.755-mile, 11-turn temporary street circuit.  The track is extremely bumpy and a new section of the track caught several USF2000 drivers out, leaving them with destroyed racecars.  Dakota came up to speed at a controlled rate, becoming accustomed to the visual cues and necessary car placement to handle the challenging conditions, and handled the weekend like a seasoned pro. 

In qualifying, the San Diego, CA resident timed in sixth, and then avoided all of the carnage at the start of the opening race on Saturday to finish an impressive sixth, his best finish of the year.  Dakota would improve in the second race of the weekend, held on Sunday morning, getting a tremendous start to slot into fourth, right behind the lead trio of veterans that included eventual winner Parker Thompson, 2015 Rookie of the Year Anthony Martin and Saturday winner Victor Franzoni.  Dickerson ran a flawless race to finish fourth, further improving on his best performance of the year. 

Afterburner Autosport will now focus on heading to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the July 29-31weekend for a special tripleheader weekend on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda trail.  Dickerson will be joined by 17-year-old Chris Munoz, who will be making his series debut in the team’s #17 Van Diemen. 

Live coverage from Mid-Ohio will be available on the Mazda Road to Indy app or on www.usf2000.com.  For additional information on the team, head to www.afterburnerautosport.com. 

DRIVER PERFORMANCE – ROUNDS 10-11 - JULY 15-17, 2016

TORONTO INDY – TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA 

DAKOTA DICKERSON - #18

Qualifying: 6th - 1:13.1204

Race #1: 6th

Race #2: 4th  

Driver Quote: “I am extremely pleased with our pace and results coming out of Toronto. Logging our first top-five of the season was an amazing feeling and I am very excited heading into Mid Ohio!” 

About Afterburner Autosport:

Afterburner Autosport was formed in 2010 with the sole purpose of leading the way in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda competition. Under the guidance of former F2000 racer and engineer Tim Walsh, the team has over 20 years of experience in open-wheel competition and can field up to four cars in competition. The squad, which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has continually developed and grown since joining the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and has multiple series victories, winning at least one race every year for the last three years.

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