Nepveu Concludes the USF2000 Season with a Portland Podium
 September 5, 2022| 
  • Team News
PORTLAND, Ore. -  It was a challenging weekend for Thomas Nepveu and DEForce Racing at Portland International Raceway. The USF2000 series took on the West Coast track for the final three rounds of the season. 
Although it was a new track for Nepveu, he was quickly able to master the 12 turns of the 3.1 km circuit. "It's a track I enjoyed discovering," said the driver of the #10 Cromwell | Pétrole Bélanger | Home Hardware | Karting Excellence car prepared by DEForce Racing. Indeed, he did very well in qualifying, clocking the third fastest lap time in all three events.
The event's highlight was Thomas' third-place finish in the first race. Turn One at Portland International Raceway is known to be treacherous. Despite a multi-car accident, Thomas could avoid it and stay on the leader's heels.
Then in second place, he was on the hunt to claim the lead. However, a caution flag brought the field closer together halfway through the race. Taking advantage of the restart, Myles Rowe overtook Thomas, who fell to fourth place. Following a battle with Nikita Johnson, Thomas claimed third at the finish. 
"It was a great race," said Thomas after the podium. "I'm very happy with the performance of the car, DEForce Racing did a great job. I think we need to try to find even more speed to be able to fight for the win!"
Race 2 took place later in the evening, after a delay due to a fallen giant screen (!). Another hectic start took place with the sunset in the background. Trying to avoid the crash, Thomas was forced into the escape zone.
After returning to the track in 14th place, the remainder of the race was spent climbing back up the field, which he did brilliantly. "I had a bad start and got caught up in the crash between the two frontrunners," Thomas explained. "I had to go off the track to avoid them. After that, we were in recovery mode to try to catch up with the pack to end up P9. I would like to congratulate Mac Clark, a fellow Canadian racing with DEForce Racing, who won the race."
The final race of the USF2000 series took place on Saturday morning in front of a crowd gathered to encourage the drivers in their grand finale. Once again, Turn One was the scene of an accident involving the drivers in the lead pack, including Thomas, who could not avoid the car in front of him in time. 
Thomas got lucky to escape without a scratch and took the lead. However, he had to serve a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. This penalty ended his race as he returned to the track at the back of the pack. He eventually finished the race in 14th place.
"It's a shame to end the year like this; I would have liked to give DEForce Racing one last podium. However, this season, I have many positive memories, like my podium in Toronto in front of my friends and family. I want to thank all my partners who supported me this season; we accomplished great things together."
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