JDC MotorSports Ends USF2000 Championship Season with Trip to Podium at VIR
 September 18, 2012| 
  • Team News
Alberico's runner-up finish in Round 13 leads strong outing by Hargrove, Johnson, and Forgeois in finale doubleheader

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – The 2012 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda campaign concluded for JDC MotorSports this past weekend (September 14-15), with a strong showing at VIRginia International Raceway. Neil Alberico and Scott Hargrove ended their rookie seasons in fine fashion, with the Californian standing on the podium in Round 13 with a runner-up finish, before adding a fifth-place finish in Round 14, while the Canadian came home fifth and fourth in the two races. Fellow rookie Michael Johnson also displayed good skill with finishes of 11th and 12th in the twin bill. Team newcomer Luca Forgeois rebounded from a tough Race One to end the doubleheader with a 12th-place result.

After a season of up-and-downs, the highly regarded JDC MotorSports squad was looking forward to ending the USF2000 Championship season with a strong effort in Virginia. With the undulating and fast VIRginia International Raceway road course playing host to the series for the first time, the talented foursome of Alberico, Forgeois, Hargrove, and Johnson were positioned to do just that.

As planned, the opening promoter's test day was spent getting both acclimated to the 3.27-mile layout and building on a base setup first developed during official series testing at the track the previous week. While a fast overall lap time was not the objective in the two outings, Alberico made it clear he was worth watching with a pair of top-five results. Johnson's No. 54 Universal Coating/Alpinestars/Coloplast/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/Movement Arts Motorsports Marketing/JDC MotorSports racer also showed good speed right off the trailer, turning a top-10 time in both sessions.

When the USF2000 action officially got underway with two practice sessions, Hargrove joined the top-10 fray, with Alberico, Hargrove, and Johnson all among the top-10 in the final practice run. Forgeois, meanwhile was steadily building speed in what was his first outing with his new squad.

The lone qualifying session, which set the grid for race one of the twin bill, proved to be a frustrating affair. While Alberico was fifth quickest in his No. 19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/ Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, and Hargrove, Johnson, and Forgeois were 10th, 11th, and 15th respectively, all four racers felt they had more speed in the cars.

Returning to their cockpits on Saturday morning, the goal was simple for JDC racers...move forward. Alberico promptly did that via a superb launch when the green flag waved for the 14-lap  race, avoiding some first turn carnage to vault into second place. Hargrove likewise was impressive in his No. 38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Skip Barber Racing School/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports racing steed, joining the fight for a top-five position. Behind the lightning start duo, Johnson was immediately involved in a battle for positions just outside the top-10, and Forgeois fought to hold his position. In what was an exciting caution-free race, Alberico repeatedly held off spirited challenges from behind, scoring a well deserved first visit to the series podium with a second-place finish. Hargrove was the next JDC car to the line, adding a fifth-place result to his ever-growing resume. Johnson, who is paralyzed from the chest down following motorcycle racing crash several years ago, ended up just missing his second career top-10, taking the checkered flag in 12th. Forgeois, having lost a lap to the leaders, was 23rd.

The 2012 season concluded on Sunday morning, with the field getting the green for Round 14 based on their fast times in race one at VIR. With Alberico (4th), Hargrove (5th), and Johnson (10th) all starting inside the top-10, the stage was set for a strong outing by JDC outfit in the finale. That was certainly the case, as the trio not only showcased good speed and racecraft, but the No. 9 Café Noir/Splashlight/Gearup/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry of Forgeois steadily worked its way forward from deep in the field. When the checkered flag waved after 14 laps, the Minnesota-based squad had two more top-five finishes in the record books, thanks to Hargrove and Alberico crossing the start/finish line nose-to-tail in fourth and fifth. Johnson and Forgeois also took the checkered flag in tandem, with Johnson in 11th and Forgeois in 12th.

"The whole team has been working so hard for me all season, so to finish the season on the podium with a solid second place feels great!" stated Alberico. "We knew the speed was there, it was just a matter of putting it all together. I am delighted for John Church and everyone on the team. All the guys did great this past weekend, and I think it's safe to say we definitely earned this one. It's no doubt a great momentum builder going into the winter and onto next year. I just want to thank the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, RaceLite Protection, JDC MotorSports, and most of all my parents for all their support this season.

"Following our strong results in Baltimore, I was really looking forward to the season-finale at VIR" commented Hargrove. "Qualifying didn't go as planned, but that didn't hurt us too bad, as JDC MotorSports gave me a great car to drive from 10th to fifth on the first lap! The second race went ever better, as I drove from fifth to second on the first lap. Finishing off the season with three convective top-five finishes has been a huge accomplishment! I have been so impressed with the professionalism of both JDC MotorSports and USF2000. I can't thank everyone enough!"

"The last two races at VIR went very well," added Johnson. "I learned a lot, and finished the season off on a high note. My driving is improving every weekend, and I'm really excited for racing to start back up in 2013!" 

With the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season now in the record books, and third place in the team standings secured, attention will soon switch to preparations for the 2013 campaign. First on the docket will be the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 10-11. The two-day outing on the IMS road course will the first of many off-season tests by the squad used to evaluate drivers for the upcoming new season. Drivers interested in taking part in the Mazda Road to Indy test, or other off-season programs are invited to contact team JDC MotorSports and team principal John Church. 

JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from www.RedLineOil.com.

Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website @ www.jdcmotorsports.com. For direct contact, please contact John Church @ 952-233-3075.

Learn more about Neil Alberico at neilalberico.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ NeilAlberico and his Facebook page @ Neil-Alberico-Racing.

Learn more about Luca Forgeois at www.lucaforgeois.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ LucaForgeois and his Facebook page @ LucaForgeoisRacing.

Learn more about Scott Hargrove at scotthargrove.com keep up to date via Twitter @ Scott_Hargrove and his Facebook page @ ScottHargroveMotorsports.

Learn more about Michael Johnson at michaeljohnsonracing.com keep up to date via Twitter @ Racer54isCool and his Facebook page @ Michael-Johnson-Racing.


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 will contest the Star Mazda Championship, USF2000 Championship and Prototype Lites Championship in 2012.

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