Top-10 Finish For Sick Tea Racing in USF2000 St. Petersburg Event
 March 29, 2011| 
  • Team News
USF2000-news

Sick Tea Racing continued its inaugural season of junior formula car action this past weekend (March 26-27), experiencing both the highs and lows of racing in Rounds Three and Four of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda. Up-and-coming American driver Timmy Megenbier showed why many are keeping an eye on the Illinois native, as he overcame a race-ending first-lap incident in the opening final to score an impressive sixth place result in race two on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. It was a wild month of March that saw the new team come together late in the going to put together a USF2000 National Championship effort, and the impression made on the series and the paddock has been extremely positive.

 

Just over a week after making their last-minute USF2000 debut at the historic Sebring International road course – where Megenbier earned a top-10 finish in Round One – the 19 year-old pilot was back in action in front of the IZOD IndyCar Series teams and drivers via the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Given the fact that the Illinois-based team had been formed just prior to the season-opener, and that Megenbier had never previously competed on the St. Petersburg street circuit, it came as no surprise that the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup champion spent the two Friday practice sessions getting acclimated to the challenging streets circuit. The game plan was to work on setups for the ever-changing grip levels. That being said, Megenbier ended the day within striking distance of the more experienced multi-car squads that had already enjoyed the benefits to significant pre-season testing.

 

When Megenbier returned to the cockpit of the No. 17 Rahal Foods/Caputo/Wiscon Corp Sick Tea Racing entry for early Saturday morning qualifying, the goal was to continue gaining speed. The Illinois racer promptly did just that in the shortened session, going over a second faster than his best practice time, ultimately earning a row five starting position. Unfortunately, qualifying proved to be the highlight of day two for the Sick Team Racing squad, as almost immediately after the green flag waved for Round Three, Megenbier was collected in a multi-car collision that was not of his doing, ending his race before it even began.

 

Megenbier was back behind the wheel one day later when the green flag waved for Round Four, thanks to some hard work by his crew. Starting at the rear of the field due to the grid being set by fast times from race one, Megenbier rapidly became one of the drivers to watch. Showcasing both great race craft and speed, he passed car after car, ultimately advancing 10 positions to finish a very impressive sixth, just missing his first USF2000 top-five by a little over a car length.

 

“We are quickly learning a proper race car again,” stated Megenbier. “I have been working with my engineer John Walko to get the proper setup. Each session, as we work together, we get faster. I have been driving front-wheel drive sedans for the past several seasons, so I now have just less than three total hours in a formula car over the past three years. We were at a significant disadvantage with no testing or seat time before the first race, but I think that we’ve closed that gap significantly. We now have some time to test before the next race, and I look forward to the seat time and being in a better position to challenge the drivers of the top teams.”

 

“I want to thank the USF2000 series for guiding us,” added the talented American. “They have been very helpful and are a great group of people to work with. This series is top notch and very professionally run. I highly recommend it to future drivers.”

 

Sick Tea Racing and Megenbier continue their inaugural Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda season on May 28, with the first of two oval races on the series calendar being held at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana. Sick Tea Racing enters Round Five at the prestigious ‘Night Before the 500’ event sitting sixth in the team standings.

 

Megenbier’s primary marketing partner is Sick Tea, a manufacturer of ready-to-drink organic tea. They use natural sweeteners and fresh juice and never include processed sugar. Caputo/Wiscon Corp, located in Melrose Park, Ill., is a manufacturer and an importer/exporter of high quality cheese. Rahal Foods, located in Oak Brook, Ill., are brokers of high quality fruit and vegetable juices.

 

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