JDC MotorSports Overcomes Baltimore Challenges to Score USF2000 Championship Podium Finish
 September 6, 2012| 
  • Team News
USF2000-news
Hargrove captured inaugural top-three and joined in top-four by Alberico in Round 1

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – JDC MotorSports continued its second half run of form in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda over Labor Day weekend (September 1-2), overcoming challenging track conditions to score a podium finish. One day after securing a top-10 result in Round 11, the Minnesota squad was among those to watch in Round 12, as Scott Hargrove secured his inaugural trip to the post-race celebrations with a third-place result and was followed home by his rookie teammate Neil Alberico in fourth. While things did not go according to plan for Michael Johnson, he still showed good speed during the doubleheader.

The start to the twin bill on the street circuit around Baltimore's Inner Harbor proved to be a chaotic affair, as within a lap or two of the USF2000 cars rolling on-course for practice, it was readily apparent that the light rail crossing along the front straight was going to be an issue, with cars getting airborne and suffering damage. When combined with further track issues in the second practice run - which was originally slated to be a qualifying session - despite the best efforts of INDYCAR and track officials, it meant that the JDC rookie trio of Alberico, Hargrove, and Johnson entered Round 11 with very little track time around the challenging concrete-lined street circuit.

Forced to rely on JDC MotorSports successful street racing experience and their ever growing skills behind the wheel, race one commenced with the JDC racers gridded based on their place in the standings. Hargrove  proved to be one of the stars of the 17-lap affair, as the No. 38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Skip Barber Racing School/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry made the most of every opportunity, advancing from 14th to an impressive sixth, despite taking the checkered flag with only three wheels, following contact in the chicane just before the stripe. Alberico was positioned to also be part of the top-10, having started ninth, but an uncharacteristic error relegated the No. 19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/ Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry to 13th in the final results. Johnson, the lone paralyzed driver within the three series that make up the Mazda Road to Indy program, dueled for positions from start to finish, before following his teammate across the stripe in 14th.

When the JDC cars rolled back on-course one day later in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, the goal was simple, stay out of trouble and move forward. For two of the trio that is exactly what happened in Round 12. Getting a good launch from the traditional rolling start, the race appeared to be going according to plan for the JDC racers, with both Hargrove and Alberico dueling for places among the top-five, and Johnson part of the pack battling for positions in the top-10. Unfortunately, Johnson's effort in the No. 54 Universal Coating/Alpinestars/Coloplast/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/Movement Arts Motorsports Marketing/JDC MotorSports racing steed soon came to a premature end, 10 laps before the checkered flag waved. The mood, however, remained upbeat in the JDC pits, with Hargrove and Alberico at the pointy end of the field. Benefiting from an incident involving the second-place driver, Hargrove ultimately earned a well-deserved first trip to the USF2000 Championship podium with a third-place finish. Initially coming home with a hard fought fifth-place finish, Alberico was subsequently promoted to fourth following a post race technical infraction by the driver ahead of him at the line.

"I have been looking forward to the Baltimore Grand Prix all season, and it did not disappoint!" stated Hargrove. "JDC MotorSports gave me an amazing car right from the get go, and we were always near the top of the time sheets. The first race was action-packed, and I ended up crossing the checkered flag in sixth place with just three wheels due to contact in the final chicane. It was an unfortunate end to a great race. The JDC Motorsports team did an awesome job getting the car back together, and after starting fourth, I drove up to third, claiming my first podium in USF2000 Championship. I'm extremely thrilled with the result, and can't thank everyone involved enough."

"JDC MotorSports did a stellar job all weekend with the car, given the rough conditions of the street circuit," added Alberico. "I made an error the first race that hurt our results, but everyone did great to come back and finish fourth on Sunday. Our goal has been to build momentum going into the end of the season, and I think it's fair to say we have accomplished that thus far. With one more event to go, we will carry that same mindset to finish off the year at VIR."

"Things were a little rough at the Baltimore GP," commented Johnson. "I was missing some speed, which took me a while to figure out, but the track was fast and fun. Definitely going to work on things to make the return next year much better."

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season comes to a close for the talented JDC MotorSports squad on September 14-15, when VIRginia International Raceway plays host to Rounds 13 and 14.  The multiple junior formula car champions enter the season-finale fifth in the team standings.

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 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.

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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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