Rookie Thompson set for USF2000 Debut with JDC MotorSports
 March 26, 2015| 
  • Team News
Canadian enters 2015 after impressive pre-season testing and Winterfest experience

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Over the past five years, Canadian Parker Thompson has been one of the most impressive young kart racers in North America.  Having advanced through the junior levels of the sport, this 17-year-old pilot from Red Deer, Alberta will make the calculated jump from international karting to the Mazda Road to Indy this season, piloting his #80 JDC MotorSports entry in the opening round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.  The season kickoff will take place this weekend as part of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where the series will support the Verizon IndyCar Series on the 11-turn, 1.8-mile downtown street circuit in Florida.  Thompson was extremely impressive during the off-season Cooper Tires Winterfest spring training series in February, finishing with five straight top-10 results, including a fifth in the finale at Barber Motorsports Park, which will allow him to hit the track with great motivation and confidence.

“We’re very excited to have Parker in one of our USF2000 cars and based on his consistent improvement through pre-season testing and the Winterfest races, we think he’s going to be one of the top rookies this year,” offered John Church, JDC MotorSports Team Principal, who has worked with the likes of Dane Cameron, Connor De Phillippi, Tristan Vautier, Scott Hargrove and Neil Alberico in recent years. “With our single-car USF2000 effort, Parker has been pushed to develop his own line of communication with our engineers, and I think that’s been a big positive. He’s already shown great maturity and poise, and this will serve him well.  We have additional cars available for any young drivers who wish to partner with Parker, and we have the set-up data to help them run upfront.”

Thompson has a very successful record in karting, having won multiple races and important championships during this development years, such as the Rotax Challenge of the Americas title and Western Canadian Championship in Rotax Junior during the 2011 season. In 2012, he again won the Western Canadian title, and was qualified to be part of Team Canada at the Rotax Grand Finals in Portugal. Parker turned in a podium performance against the top drivers from around the world, finishing a stellar third.  Parker was then invited to race in Europe in the WSK International Series with the Energy Corse factory team in 2013, where he logged numerous top-five finishes in his rookie season of European competition.

Thompson is being mentored by 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, who has been working with the young racer since his early years in karting.

The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will open up the action at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, breaking the Friday morning silence with their first practice session at 8:00 am ET.  A second session will be run at 2:00 pm.  Qualifying is scheduled for 8:00 am on Saturday morning, ahead of Race #1 at 10:15 am.  The second race of the doubleheader is set for 8:55 am on Sunday, March 29.

Parker Thompson - #80
Age
: 17
Hometown: Red Deer. Alberta
Sponsors:  Bell Helmets, OMP, Parker Thompson: Drive to Stay Alive

Driver Quote: “I am extremely excited to get things kicked off with JDC MotorSports in St. Petersburg for the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Presented by Mazda championship. It has been a lot work preparing for my transition to cars, and it all starts with the first race. I think we are in a very good place headed into St. Pete, and I really like how well the team and I are getting along. I can't wait to see where we stack up to the competition, and I look forward to a successful event with the JDC MotorSport crew."

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. The following year, JDC continued its winning ways, earning the Rookie of the Year award in the Star Mazda Championship with Connor De Philippi, and scoring a non-points win in the USF2000 National Championship. In 2011, the Minneapolis-based squad captured its third Star Mazda Championship title with Tristan Vautier, scored a win in the USF2000 National Championship, and made its Prototype Lites Championship debut, earning five podium finishes. JDC Motorsports added to its Star Mazda Championship win tally, USF2000 Championship podium total, and finished as the Prototype Lites Championship runner-up in 2012. Last year, the squad continued its run of Pro Mazda and USF2000 podium finishes, and was third in the Prototype Lites title fight.
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