March 22, 2011| 
  • Team News

The 2011 edition of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda commenced in superb fashion for JDC MotorSports this past week (March 17-18), as the Minnesota-based squad made a trip to victory lane and added two top-five finishes at Sebring International Raceway. Australian rookie Luke Ellery led the way, winning a thrilling Round Two race and narrowly missing a podium finish with a fourth place result in Round One. Colombian rookie Juan Piedrahita looked good as well, finishing sixth and fifth in his series debut.


With neither JDC MotorSports driver having raced a Formula Ford 2000 car at Sebring, the opening test day and lone practice run on the fast and bumpy road course was spent working on continually fine tuning car handling, rather than outright speed. That being said, both JDC racers showed indications of their skill by regularly running near the top of the timecharts, with Piedrahita impressing with the fourth best time in practice.


When the lone qualifying session for the season-opening doubleheader got underway on Thursday morning (March 17), spirits were high under the JDC awning. Ultimately the session proved to be an up-and-down affair. Piedrahita continued to show good speed in his No. 19 Petrosur/GFK Motors/Montopharma/ Colombia es pasion/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, earning a row two starting position for Round One. Ellery however did not get the desired speed out of his No. 5 Melbourne IT/Luke-Ellery.com/Red Line Oil JDC MotorSports entry, turning the sixth best time.


After a brief break to go over race strategy and any last minute changes to the cars, the JDC duo were back behind the wheels for the race one rolling start in central Florida. Showing good speed and skill in the caution-free affair, Ellery steadily worked his way forward, eventually crossing the stripe in fourth, just missing out on a podium start to his season. A short distance behind, Piedrahita emerged from a spirited multi-car fight for position with a solid sixth place result.


With each drivers’ fast lap from the opening race determining the starting order, Ellery received the green flag in third for Round Two, while Piedrahita lined-up on the inside of row three. When the flag fell to get the action underway, the fight for top honors immediately became a five-car affair with both JDC racers in the mix. Initially slotting into second, Ellery was P4 when the opening lap completed and the safety car emerged for an incident deeper in the field.


When the race resumed a short time later, Ellery made the most of his newer tires to move back up to second. While forced to deal with a multi-car heated battle for position, often going two and three wide, the talented Australian was ultimately able to pass for the lead. Once out front, the JDC rookie steadily extended his advantage, crossing the line two seconds ahead of second place to score the win in only his third career start. Piedrahita, in a spirited fight for position lap after lap for a second consecutive race, eventually earned his first top-five result, coming home fifth.


“It was a good race for me,” stated Ellery. “We were three abreast four laps from the finish. What a race! You can’t get much better than that. We have 27-car fields back in Australia and the racing wasn’t this good.”


JDC MotorSports had little time to celebrate its Sebring win, as the chase for the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda title resumes this coming weekend (March 26-27), with Rounds Three and Four on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The multiple junior formula car champion enter the second event on the series calendar with Ellery leading the driver standings and JDC MotorSports second in the team standings. The action in eastern Florida gets underway with a pair of practice sessions on Friday (March 25). Qualifying and Round One will take place one day later, with Round Two on Sunday afternoon (March 27).


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.




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. This past 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. The Minneapolis-based squad will compete in the Star Mazda Championship, USF2000 National Championship and Prototype Lites Championship in 2011 via multi-car operations.


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