Thompson Adds Two Podium in Season Finale
 September 13, 2016| 
  • Team News

MONTEREY, Calif. – Coming into the 2016 racing season, Red Deer, Alberta’s Parker Thompson signed with Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda juggernaut Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and was focused on winning races and securing the series championship.  Thompson competed in the program’s finale at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca finale on September 9-11, wrapping up a tremendous season of growth that featured four wins and 12 podium finishes. 

The 18-year-old series sophomore entered the last race of the year just 18 points behind his teammate Anthony Martin in the fight for the title, but both Parker and Anthony would turn in stellar weekends with second and third place finishes, meaning that Thompson was not able to make up the necessary ground in the chase.  It was a tough pill to swallow for the talented young driver, but the positive is that he is more determined than ever to find the funding for next year to continue his already successful open wheel career. 

“I am proud of my efforts at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” Thompson enthused. “I drove the wheels off of the car during the races, and kept my championship hopes alive by winning a hard fought battle on-track with Anthony to finish P2 in Race 1! With my given championship scenario, my main goal coming into the weekend was to prove I belong on the Mazda Road to Indy. Looking back on my performances, I'm confident that I did just that.” 

Parker has been a frontrunner all year long and nothing changed when he hit the track at the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday in his #2 Weyburn Energy Van Diemen for two rounds of practice.  Thompson was in the top-three all weekend, and after sitting down with his team between each session, they were able to develop a great set-up for the challenging racetrack.  Parker laid down the third quickest time during the qualifying session, putting himself on the inside of the second row for the start of both races. 

In the opening race, he chased Martin for the first half of the event as the duo ran second and third to Victor Franzoni, but Parker was determined to gain points on his championship rival.  Halfway through the race, Parker made a tremendous move in turn five to slip underneath Anthony and take over the second position, which he would hold through to the checkered flag, chipping three points out of the lead in the overall standings. 

In the second race of the weekend, and the final event of the year, Parker needed to get aggressive to make something happen, and he drove his car deep into the opening corner looking to take the lead. The car pushed a little as he turned in, but he was able to get the car rotated, but not quite enough to overtake the polesitter or Martin.  Parker slotted into third and once again set about pressuring Martin into a mistake, but both pilots drove without a mistake, leaving Parker to finish third.  The end result was a stellar second place in the overall series championship, and the gain of a wealth of knowledge and experience that will prepare him for whatever is to come in 2017. 

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 signed a deal with championship-winning Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

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