Parker Thompson Sweeps USF2000 Race Wins at Barber
 April 27, 2016| 
  • Team News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – It’s a common thought in the Mazda Road to Indy paddock that this year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda is the most competitive in the program’s seven-year history. This fact makes Parker Thompson’s performance at Barber Motorsports Park this past weekend even more impressive, as the 18-year-old rising star from Red Deer, Alberta took control of the action and came away with two huge victories, his first since joining the program as a rookie in 2015.  Thompson qualified his #2 Weyburn Energy / Uber / Sylvan Lake RV / Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor entry on pole during qualifying, and then ran away and hid on the opening race of the doubleheader on Friday afternoon to win by 4.278 seconds. 

In the second race, held as the last event on Saturday, he bolted from the outside of the front row to steal the lead from his teammate Anthony Martin exiting the opening corner.  Parker was then challenged all race by Australian pilot Luke Gabin, but he never faltered to back up his Saturday triumph with a 1.187-second win to complete the weekend sweep.  In the process, Thompson assumed the lead in the championship point standings and will take momentum and confidence into the month of May in Indianapolis. 

“I have been working towards a weekend like this ever since I first entered the USF2000 Championship,” Parker commented, following the victory lane celebrations on Saturday. “Words don't describe how good it feels to finally make that first win happen, and to back it up with another win feels even better. I can’t thank Cape Motorsports enough, for helping me come in and get pole and two wins after a tough start to the season is incredible. Anytime you sweep a weekend, it’s great. When you’re looking at the championship – it’s hard just to get wins period, never mind sweeping a weekend. I’m just happy to be in the position I’m in, especially to get both wins, with the great drivers we have in this class. There's plenty of work left in the Championship, and a long way to go yet. I am just excited to carry this momentum into Indianapolis in May. Thank you to all of my supporters and partners, I want to dedicate these wins to the people that have helped me get my career this far!” 

Practice and qualifying went extremely well for the talented Canadian, as Parker was either at the top or very near in each and every session. When it mattered, in qualifying, Thompson posted his first career USF2000 pole time to secure the inside of the front row for Race 1.  Parker turned a 1:24.669 to top the session and set the stage for his first victory of the weekend.  In both races, the series sophomore pushed his car to the limits to remain ahead of his challengers and he learned a great deal from the process. 

After completing the sweep on Saturday, Thompson returned to the track for the Verizon IndyCar Series race on Sunday and was asked to join Rob Howden, the voice of the Mazda Road to Indy, in the public address booth to help with play-by-play and race analysis for the second Pro Mazda event of the weekend.  Thompson provided expert input and was also able to discuss his program, his partners and his ‘Drive To Stay Alive’ initiative. 

The impressive Canadian will now look forward to the next stop on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, which is the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 11-13 on the road course of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Parker is thankful for the opportunities provided to him by his valued partners, including Weyburn Energy, Uber, Sylvan Lake RV, Bell Helmets, OMP Racing, Lapizta Watches, Openhwy, Mazda and Cooper Tires. 

The on-track sessions from the Grand Prix of Indianapolis in May will be broadcast live on roadtoindy.tv and can be streamed through the Mazda Road to Indy app, which is available on iTunes and Google Play for Android devices.  Parker Thompson fans can also find these shows available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku TV on the new Road to Indy channel. 

About Parker Thompson:

Parker was born and raised in Red Deer, Alberta and got behind the wheel of his first kart at the age of eight. He went from being a weekend warrior rolling a kart and toolbox in the back of a family half-ton in Calgary, to a championship-winning fixture in many of the world’s top karting events. In 2012, Parker was the first ever North American to make it to the podium in the Junior Rotax category at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portimao, Portugal where he was awarded the third ranking in the world.

At the age of 14, Thompson went on to live in Italy, leaving family and friends behind to race in Europe full-time with the Energy Corse Factory team. This move helped accelerate his dream of becoming a professional racecar driver. He had a record-breaking season for a Canadian, producing results yet to be seen by a North American competing at the world stage in Europe.

Currently, the accomplished 18-year-old looks to make it one step closer to his dream of a professional racecar driver and make the jump to racing formula cars. After finishing fifth overall in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda last year, for 2016, Thompson has signed a deal with championship-winning Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

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