Meet the Contenders: Nico Jamin
 September 9, 2015| 
  • Series News
Four drivers rose above the pack in this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Frenchman Nico Jamin, Americans Jake Eidson and Aaron Telitz, and Australian rookie Anthony Martin have accounted for 39 of the series’ 42 podium positions to date, with half of the season’s race podiums featuring a combination of Jamin, Eidson and Telitz. Jamin stands poised to set several series records at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca finale, capping a dominating season that could earn him a Mazda scholarship of over $381,000 to graduate to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2016.

PALMETTO, Fla. - Nicolas “Nico” Jamin announced his 2015 intentions – and a precursor of the season – when he earned pre-season Cooper Tires USF2000 Winterfest championship honors. The 19-year-old native of Rouen, France continued his winning ways as the season progressed, earning eight victories (including a sweep of all three races and pole positions in the most recent event at Mid-Ohio) and podium finishes in all but one of the 14 races to date. Jamin has tied Sage Karam’s record of 11 poles (2010) and JR Hildebrand’s record of 13 podiums (2006) in a season with two races remaining.

Jamin began his career at age 15, racing in the Rotax Max Junior French Karting Championship before moving up to French Formula 4 in 2012 and the Formula Renault 2.0 European Championship the following year. After testing a USF2000 car at Sebring in October of 2013, Jamin decided to head to America. He finished ninth in the 2014 USF2000 series with 10 top-10 finishes and a podium finish of third at the first race of the year in St. Petersburg, Fla. He joined the multiple championship-winning Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing team in December of last year, with an eye toward the title chase.

“Obviously, winning Winterfest was a big achievement for me because it was my first title since I started racing cars. I came into the season with a lot of confidence and determination, but I knew it was going be tough as there are a lot of very fast drivers in USF2000, starting with my teammate Aaron Telitz. Also, nobody has won both the Winterfest and the main championship so far, so I want to show that we can win both.”

Jamin and teammate Telitz have already helped their Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing team earn the 2015 USF2000 Team Championship. Jamin has a 50-point lead over Jake Eidson in the driver’s title chase going into the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but he knows Eidson is not going to make it easy with 66 points up for grabs.

“I am more focused than ever going into the big finale at Mazda Raceway. I have a pretty comfortable gap in the championship on Jake, but anything can happen at the last event so I need to stay out of trouble during the race and score points to secure the championship title. I've never been to this track, but we have four free practice sessions so I'll have time to learn it. I have already played it a few hours on my simulator at home during the summer break. I'm really excited to race there because the track looks awesome. It's definitely the best track for a season finale.

“Winning the championship this year would mean so much to me. It would be a huge achievement for me and the whole team. This is what we have been working for all year. And thanks to Mazda, perhaps I will have the chance to pursue my dream to step up in the Road to Indy and get to IndyCar in a few years.”

Like so many athletes, Jamin excels at several sports, including tennis, which he played competitively as a youngster – something he shares with last year’s Indy Lights champion, 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series rookie of the year, Gabby Chaves. Naturally, when the two got together for a match last year near Jamin’s home, it quickly turned ultra-competitive.

“I played tennis for 12 years (from 3 to 15 years old). I was one of the best players of my age in France and wanted to become professional. But I had knee problems, so I couldn't play tennis at the highest level anymore. I got into racing at the age of 15 because my dad was a gentleman driver in a club series in France. When I tried a go kart, I loved it and knew it was going be my new target, to become a professional race car driver.

“I still play tennis for fun during my off time. In fact, Gabby and I played last year in Florida. It was pretty crazy. I won the game at the tie break of the third set after more than two hours! We fought until the last point of the game!”
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