Thompson Impresses with Two Top-Fives for JDC
 April 29, 2015| 
  • Team News
Young Canadian showing consistency and maturity as ladder series program rolls on

– It’s always daunting for a young driver as he or she enters a racing program to begin their rookie season, primed to take on the established competition.  JDC MotorSports’ freshman pilot Parker Thompson has shown impressive poise and maturity since the opening round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda in March, and he turned in his finest performance yet this past weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. The 17-year-old Canadian set his baseline pace in Thursday testing, and proceeded to close the gap on the sophomore drivers throughout the weekend, coming home with a pair of fifth-place finishes that only further positions him as one of the top rookies in the series. Considering that fact that Race One was run in the dry and Race Two in the wet, Thompson was challenged heavily and then responded incredibly for each race.

“Parker is learning so much every weekend and he’s absorbing everything that is thrown at him,” confirmed JDC MotorSports’ Team Owner John Church. “We have three Pro Mazdas under our tent and Parker is our only USF2000 driver, which makes him fully responsible for working with our engineers to provide information for his set-up. Without a teammate to bounce ideas off, he has shown tremendous focus and a willingness to learn. He went quicker each time he hit the track this weekend and a pair of top-fives was big, especially with the tough wet conditions that he was faced with in Race Two. I’m excited to get him onto the road course at Indianapolis.”

Parker was just outside the top-five on the time sheets during Thursday testing, but with the team setting a great baseline, he was able to find even more speed in Friday morning practice ahead of qualifying. During the timed session that would set the grid for Race One, Parker knocked over six-tenths off his best lap to advance to fifth in the order, putting him on the inside of row three for the start of the 30-minute race, which would go off later in the day. The race was the last event of the day and with a good number of racing enthusiasts still in their viewing areas, Parker got a decent launch at the green flag and settled into the fifth-place position. He would challenge for fourth early, but his pace would keep him in fifth, where he would finish, garnering important championship points.

The second race of the doubleheader was scheduled for the last race on Saturday, and the projected storm that loomed throughout the afternoon arrived and soaked the facility with rain, changing the approach for the USF2000 drivers. Faced with the new challenge, Thompson responded and pushed hard during the opening laps despite decreased visibility. He was very fast in the full wet, but with the rain having subsided, the track began to dry and he lost the pace he needed to move forward. The end result was another stellar fifth-place run, which had solidified his spot in sixth in the championship standings.

Thompson and his JDC MotorSports crew now look towards the month of May in Indianapolis. Parker will make his first start on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on May 7-9, and will then head west with the team to the banked 5/8-mile Lucas Oil Raceway oval in nearby Brownsburg, Ind., on May 22-23 for the new Mazda Road to Indy FreedomFest event, which will replace the Night Before the 500 race. The USF2000 and Pro Mazda series will be joined by the USAC Silver Crown cars for an afternoon program on the Saturday before the Indianapolis 500.

Parker Thompson - #80
Qualified: Fifth – 1:24.495 (+0.8695 secs)
Race #1: Fifth
Race #2: Fifth

Driver Quote
: “For JDC Motorsports and I, Rounds 5 and 6 at Barber Motorsports Park provided a great back-up weekend to the run that we had at NOLA Motorsports Park. Two top-five finishes is a great result but, of course, we are looking for more. That is why over the next week before Indianapolis, the team and I will be pushing harder than ever to make gains and hopefully we can see the podium come the next round. I definitely think it is capable, given our pace. As always, I want to offer huge thanks to JDC MotorSports and my partners and supporters. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

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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