Nepveu Builds Racecraft over Competitive Three-Race Weekend
 July 5, 2021| 
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Nepveu

Close Racing Over Tight Mid-Ohio Course in USF2000 Series

Lexington, Ohio – Thomas Nepveu and his #2 Cromwell | Karting Excellence | Home Hardware car prepared by Cape Motorsports were back at another classic American road course, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, this weekend. The young driver fought hard on every lap, improving his lap times during every race and finishing 13th, fifth and ninth on a track where it is difficult to pass.

This was Nepveu’s first visit to Mid-Ohio, so that the three test sessions were all important to help him learn the proper racing lines at this technical layout that requires absolute precision to run through the string of seven consecutive corners. Friday afternoon,Nepveu turned in the 11th quickest time in the single qualifying session, 0.7099 sec. slower than the leader in the tight lead pack of 17 drivers in the same second as the pole sitter.

Thomas Nepveu’s Point of View

Race 1 – 13th-Place Finish
After starting 11th, a caution flag came out on Lap 1 of this 20-lap race due to an incident just in front of Nepveu. The race was relaunched on Lap 4 starting a mad dash in tight traffic that lasted right to the end of the race for Nepveu. After the early caution period, Nepveu upped his pace turning in successive fastest laps up to his 11th lap. He was then forced to spend the rest of the race stuck less than one second behind the car in front of him and unable to mount a successful attack on the twisty layout.

Cape Motorsports team leader Dominic Cape was happy with Nepveu’s performance after testing, qualifying and the first race: "Mid-Ohio is one of the most technical circuits on our calendar. Thomas worked hard coming to grips with the circuit and its nuances. It all started to come together during qualifying. Thomas had a good first race and we are all looking to tomorrow’s race and the opportunities Thomas will have.”

"Things went OK yesterday (Thursday) and in Race 1 today (Friday), but I would have liked to finish better than 13th. This is a tough track to pass on. I was quick after the early caution period and ran my quickest lap of the race on Lap 7. After that, I was unable to get enough grip to pass people, as the aerowash (disturbed air off the wings of the car in front of me) reduces airflow over my wings and thus my downforce. This effect makes passing extremely difficult at this track. For Race 2, I will work on pushing my #2 Cromwell | Karting Excellence | Home Hardware car and myself ever closer to the absolute limit," said Nepveu after Race 1.

Race 2 – Fifth-Place Finish
“Starting fifth on Race 2 based on my second quickest lap in qualifying gave me a shot at the podium, but I was unable to close in on the cars in front of me as I was dealing with the same lack of downforce as in Race 1 yesterday. I spent the whole race in fifth position and concentrated on making consistent error-free laps and staying just ahead of the guys behind me. My lead grew to over one second and protected me from a multi-car Banzai charge behind me in the closing laps.

"Two drivers stopped late in the race for a set of new tires and turned in some laps that were quicker than my best one in the race, that dropped me from fifth to seventh on the grid for Race 3 on Sunday morning. I want those two positions back and a few more please in the race so more thinking tonight and some more tweaks for the race. The #2 Cromwell | Karting Excellence | Home Hardware car is great! It’s all up to me,” from Nepveu, the only Canadian driver in this series.

Race 3 – Ninth-Place Finish
Nepveu took the start of the last race of the weekend in seventh position and spent most of the race in seventh place before dropping to ninth on Lap 11 and finishing the race in that position after fighting tooth-and-nail to stay ahead of those who were behind him, usually by less than a second.

“I had a little trouble warming up my tires for the start on the cold track and that cost me some time on the early laps. The car was great again today, and my teammate Michael d’Orlando won the race. I am now looking forward to the next race after the summer break, where I know we will be competitive,” said the second-place rookie driver, now one point behind the leading rookie.

Cape Motorsports team leader Dominic Cape is also glad to see the improvement in Nepveu’s racing over the weekend: “Another solid weekend in the learning process for Thomas. He improved in every session although the last race did not go quite our way with all the yellows and some crazy incidents. It was still a very good weekend for Thomas.”

Next Events

USF2000 - August 27 to 29 – New Jersey Motorsports Park (Millville, NJ) The team will be back in action after a summer break at the 2.14-mile, 13-turn New Jersey Motorsports Park, near Millville (New Jersey). The layout of the New Jersey track is close to that of Mid-Ohio with two five-turn sections separated by a short back-straight and a longer front one. Both this track and Mid-Ohio require the same type of precise driving and concentration to ensure that the car is always in the correct position on the track to enter and exit the next corner properly. Nepveu’s strong showing at Mid-Ohio was an ideal preparation for this new track for him.

Karting – August 13 to 15 – New Castle Motorsports Park (Indiana)
In the meantime, Nepveu and PSL Karting will head to the New Castle Motorsport Park to compete in the SuperKarts! USA (Summer Nationals).

Breakfast Club of Canada Nepveu is honoured to join to the Breakfast Club of Canada cause. He will add his name to a list of ambassadors dedicated to highlighting food insecurity among Canadian children and will participate in various fundraising events.

To make a donation on Thomas Nepveu's page: https://give.breakfastclubcanada.org/thomas-nepveu-pilote-de-course-professionnel-et-ambassadeur-du-club

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