Suvanto Wins Rain-Plagued USF2000 Round at Road America
 August 20, 2011| 
  • Series News

The Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Presented by Mazda field experienced their first wet race of the year this morning in Round 10 of competition held at Road America. In the end, it was series points leader Petri Suvanto of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing who emerged victorious in the rain-shortened race. The 18-year-old from Nurmo, Finland, extended his championship lead with his fifth win of the season.


It was an all Andretti Autosport front row for a dry start of the originally scheduled 12-lap race with yesterday’s winner Spencer Pigot on pole in the #8 Team MAZDASPEED/Skip Barber entry alongside Zach Veach’s #7 Team Zakosi Data Backup machine. While Veach was shuffled to sixth in an intense battle for position at the start, Pigot managed to hold the lead until Lap 3 when moisture was reported on the 4.048-mile road course. Pigot ran wide in Turn Three under slippery conditions and Wayne Boyd of Belardi Auto Racing picked up the position in the #4 entry.


With heavy rain beginning to fall, the field was brought into pit lane to change to wet tires. The green flag flew again on Lap 6 in a one-lap shootout due to time restrictions. Boyd held the lead but ran wide in Turn 6, opening the door for Suvanto and Pigot to take a one-two finish with Boyd in third.


Timmy Megenbier of Sick Tea Racing went one better today to bring home a fourth-place finish – and his fourth consecutive top-five finish – in the #17 Sick Tea/Rahal Foods/Caputo/Wiscon Corp car improving from a 10th-place starting position. Veach, one of five different race winners this season, rounded out the top five.


In the National class, Luca Forgeois rebounded from contact in Race 1 yesterday to claim his sixth win of the season. It was an impressive drive by Forgeois, 16, who missed Thursday’s open test and practice due to school commitments.


Contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award for the driver who gains the most positions which went to Timmy Megenbier. The PFC Award for the winning car owners was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and Pabst Racing Services in the National class. The Staubli Award, a random finisher award, was issued to Roman Lagudi of JDC MotorSports who finished eighth today in his third series start.


The USF2000 series will return to competition in two weeks time in the inaugural race on the streets of Baltimore, MD., on September 3/4 in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series and American Le Mans Series.


Petri Suvanto, #3 Viseko:  “It was an interesting race today. We had all three conditions – wet, dry and damp – on slicks, so it was definitely full of action and a lot of overtaking in all the different conditions. It was fun and I had mega fun with Wayne [Boyd] and Spencer [Pigot]. I have to thank the team for making good adjustments for the race. In the rain, the car was feeling pretty good from the first corner on and that was the key for the result today.”


Spencer Pigot, #8 Team MAZDASPEED/Skip Barber:  “Overall, it was a good weekend with first and second-place finishes. We had a really big lead and, unfortunately, it went full course yellow. I fell back to fourth just before the yellow and had to work my way up to second. It was difficult conditions out there and a crazy race but overall a good weekend.”


Wayne Boyd, #4  “It was a difficult race and a difficult weekend for us to be honest. It started off in testing. We had never been here before and had a new track to learn but we got there in qualifying. It was a disappointing race yesterday with the penalty, but today was quite good with a podium. Obviously, I would have preferred to get a win but we’ll move on to Baltimore and hope for better things.”


Luca Forgeois, #5 Café Noir:  “This was my first time in a car in the wet and I absolutely loved it. The first lap, the first time ever in the wet is like jumping into a car for the first time from a go-kart. I wasn’t that quick compared to the championship cars but there is only so much you can do. It is all about seat time. In the beginning of the race with my competition behind me, I thought I would just try to pull a nice gap so I could be comfortable the rest of the race. I pushed like a mad man and tried to stay with the championship cars. Then the rain started and I decided to take it easy and acclimate to the conditions. It was a great result.”


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