Ho shows consistency, tenacity in doubleheader
 June 24, 2023| 
  • Team News
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ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – DC Autosport posted its best race weekend this season with two solid top-10 finishes in the USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader at Road America, contested as part of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES’ Sonsio Grand Prix weekend.

For Ethan Ho (Los Angeles), it was another chance to hone his talents behind the wheel of the Tatuus USF-22, a chassis very similar to the Tatuus JR-23 he regularly races in the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires. In a testament to his continued growth in the USF Pro Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, Ho battled hard through the pair of 12-lap races on the legendary 14-turn, 4.014-mile racetrack, bringing home his most consistent finishes to date – seventh in race one and ninth in race two.

“It was an outstanding effort by the entire team,” said team principal Don Conner. “We're at a bit of a disadvantage with a one-car effort in USF so it's tough, especially in qualifying at a track like Road America. But we knew we had the pace to move forward in the races. Ethan did a great job, it was a shame he was run wide at the end of race two. But we’ll keep moving forward.”

Thursday’s two test sessions and Friday morning’s official practice were conducted in unseasonably cloudy and cool weather – but optimal conditions for putting down rubber onto Road America’s newly paved surface. Ho made steady progress, moving up the time sheets in each session as the team worked on the car’s setup on a track that now had much more grip. That improvement showed on the qualifying grid, as Ho captured the eighth quickest time in race one, and 11th for race two.

Race One (Saturday morning)
The series took the first race green flag of the weekend with much of the INDYCAR paddock watching to see how the drivers would manage the new racing surface. The answer came quickly: the track was still quite conducive to hard, two-wide and three-wide running. Two cars ran a bit too hard on the opening lap, going off in Turn Three and bringing out a full course caution – with Ho up to seventh position.

On the lap four restart, Ho slid to the inside in turn two but found himself on the outside of two cars forcing the issue in Turn Three, which pitched Elliot Cox into him, sending him back to P15, though determined to continue the learning curve and work his way back. With drivers ahead having issues and Ho making smart moves, he took a late race restart in 10th position. By lap nine, he’d moved up to P8 and into clear air and at the checkered flag, had recovered well to finish in seventh position.

Race Two (Saturday afternoon)
Ho took the outside going into Turn One, aiming to avoid the seemingly inevitable chaos. Sure enough, a yellow flag flew on lap two for a car into the tires in Turn 12 with Ho holding onto 11th. Returning to green on lap four in the middle of the pack, Ho took several looks and made a move, taking ninth as the yellow flew once again. He did his best trying to keep heat in the tires as the cars circulated behind the pace car.

Working the inside at the restart, Ho grabbed eighth position in Turn One. As Nikita Johnson and Simon Sikes ahead began to race side-by-side, Ho jumped into the fray, joined by Cox in 9th as the group went three and four-wide through several turns. Ho made the pass stick on Sikes for seventh position, shuffling the race one winner and points leader back to ninth. As the white flag flew, Ho battled three-wide through several turns with Jacob Douglas and Chase Gardner but unfortunately, was run wide at Canada Corner and lost two positions. As the checkered flag flew, Ho brought home a hard-fought ninth-place finish.  

Next up for DC Autosport will be the USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires doubleheader at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, June 29 to July 2. Tune into USF2000.com for all the action!

ETHAN HO – No. 68 Triple S Suspensions
Race 1: Start – 8th / Finish – 7th
Race 2: Start – 11th / Finish – 9th

“I really like Road America – passing is relatively easy if you’re racing cleanly. We were strong on the straightaways, so we were able to make some moves. That was part of our strategy and it really worked. The track was slippery early in the weekend but once all the different series were out there, there was plenty of rubber and it was easier to brake deep and make passes.

“The level of racing in this series has really helped my learning curve, especially racing a faster car on a track we’ll see later in the season with USF Juniors. I’m happy with our performance, we were able to make the moves and move up. Super unfortunate incidents in both races, but overall, a good weekend.”
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