Zach Veach Wins USF2000 Season-Opener at Sebring
 March 17, 2011| 

Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach dominated Round One of the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda this afternoon at Sebring International Raceway. Veach placed the #7 Team Zakosi Data Backup Van Diemen on pole and never looked back. The 16-year-old from Stockdale, Ohio, led flag-to-flag in the caution-free race on the challenging 3.7-mile, 17-turn road course.


Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing’s Petri Suvanto impressed in his U.S. racing debut to claim second-place. Suvanto, 18, from Nurmo, Finland, was on pace from the start of opening practice and was able to pass second-place qualifier Spencer Pigot on Lap 2 for the position. Pigot, 17, of Windermere, Fla., struggled from the start with a lack of grip on his #8 Team MAZDASPEED/Skip Barber Andretti Autosport entry.


Australian Luke Ellery, 22, with JDC MotorSports finished fourth after starting sixth in the #5 Melbourne IT/ Line Oil entry. Cole Morgan, 22, of Pompano Beach, Fla., rounded out the top five in Belardi Auto Racing’s #9 Liberty Engineering/Sim-Sport Van Diemen gaining two positions in the 13-lap race.


While the battle remained heated at the front, another impressive drive occurred further back with Stevenson Motorsports’ Luca Forgeois taking the National class victory in the #97 Café Noir entry. This was the first-ever car race for 15-year-old Forgeois of New York City, a graduate of the karting ranks.


Round Two of the double-header in support of the 59th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will take place at 11:55 am ET tomorrow.


Zach Veach, Andretti Autosport #7 Team Zakosi Data Backup (Started 1st/Finished 1st):  “The race was pretty good. I am really excited to see how tomorrow goes but I can’t thank my team enough. They have been working really hard from Day One to be quick here and over the winter. There are a couple of things we need to do for tomorrow but it should be a good event.”


Petri Suvanto, #3 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing (Started 3rd/Finished 2nd):  “I was a bit disappointed about the qualifying to be honest. Third position wasn’t what I hoped. I was expecting a good run this morning but couldn’t quite get there. Coming from third to second in the race is obviously a good improvement and we look forward to tomorrow and trying to move Zach [Veach] out of first place.”


Spencer Pigot, Andretti Autosport #8 Team MAZDASPEED/Skip Barber (Started 2nd/Finished 3rd):  “Overall it was a good event. I ended my first race on the podium. There are a lot of things I think we can improve on. We struggled for grip pretty much from Lap 1 so we need to go back and see where we can improve. I would like to say a big thanks to everyone at Mazda, the Andretti team and everyone that is helping me.”


Luca Forgeois, #97 Stevenson Motorsports Café Noir (Started 2nd/Finished 1st National Class):  “It was definitely a good race. I have a good team and they kept motivating me as I got faster and faster. I am just trying to figure out these cars. They are very tricky especially on a track like this where it is very bumpy. As the race went on, I definitely started to understand the machinery more and what I had to do and I think you will see a lot better result from me tomorrow.”

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