JDC MotorSports Signs Paralyzed Johnson Through 2014
 November 23, 2012| 
  • Team News
Michigan native to again pilot specially-equipped hand control car in 2013 USF2000 Championship, and in 2014 Star Mazda Championship

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – Junior formula car standout JDC MotorSports is excited to announce that paralyzed racer Michael Johnson again will be part of its multi-car title challenge in the 2013 edition of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda series, and will move up with the team into the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in 2014.

The 20 year-old Johnson made history this past season, becoming the first paralyzed driver to compete in the Mazda Road to Indy program, piloting a specially-equipped hand control car in the USF2000 Championship with multiple junior formula car champion JDC MotorSports. Showing steady improvement throughout the season, the Michigan native - who was paralyzed in a motorcycle racing accident in 2005 - was a consistent top-10 performer in practice and qualifying, earning a top-10 finish in Round 10 at Road America. Johnson further highlighted his development behind the wheel during the annual year-end Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test, leading one of the USF2000 Championship sessions and ending the two-day outing second on the overall timesheets.

Building on this momentum, the junior formula car rising star will reunite with JDC MotorSports for a second season of USF2000 Championship, focused on challenging for race wins and a series title. Johnson and JDC MotorSports have also confirmed he will remain with the Minnesota-based team in 2014, progressing up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder to the Star Mazda Championship. Michael Johnson Racing in preparation for the move has already acquired a Star Mazda car, which will now be converted by JDC MotorSports - with the input of INDYCAR and the Star Mazda Championship - to a hand control set up for 2014. 

"Michael has become family for us during the last two years, and is such an integral part of JDC MotorSports that the entire team is excited that he is staying with us, not only in 2013, but also moving up to Star Mazda in 2014 with us," stated JDC MotorSports team principal John Church. "Obviously this is a unique program. It has actually even taught us to look at some things different simply due to the fact that Michael sometimes has to adjust his lines and braking points, which has benefited the rest of the team.

"A lot of the things we learned in converting the USF2000 car will help us in converting the Star Mazda car to a hand control set up. The decision to start the development so early gives as over a year lead time, and plenty of time for testing so Michael can get used to the Star Mazda car before moving there in 2014." 

"I'm really happy that we are in a position to run again with John and the entire JDC MotorSports team in 2013 in the USF2000 Championship, as well as can commit early with them for Star Mazda in 2014," commented Johnson. "2012 was a hard year at times with a lot of things to get used to and learn, but I feel that we are now at a point to charge for the front. For sure top-10s are not going be good enough for me in my second year in the USF2000 Championship."

JDC MotorSports and Johnson will officially commence their 2013 season on February 5-6, when the No. 54 Universal Coating/SpeediCath/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/ Bell Racing/Alpinestars JDC MotorSports entry takes to Sebring International Raceway for the opening three races of the Cooper Tires Winterfest. 

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 Michael Johnson at michaeljohnsonracing.com and 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 Championship. In 2011, the Minneapolis-based squad captured its third Star Mazda Championship title with Tristan Vautier, scored a win in the USF2000 Championship, and made its Prototype Lites Championship debut, earning five podium finishes. JDC MotorSports added to its Star Mazda Championship win tally, USF2000 Championship podium total and finished as the Prototype Lites Championship runner-up in 2012.

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