MUGELLO, Italy, April 21 - America's Jeffrey Jones had a weekend with as many ups and downs as the twisty Autodroma Internzionale del Mugello circuit here but he recorded another strong top-10 finish in Formula Renault 2000 action April 16. The 17-year-old from Casey Key, Fla., finished eighth in Manor Motorsport's #25, which is sponsored by JCI, PVS Chemicals, Winchester Ammunitions, Yogurt Delight and Dyam Design. Jones' racing program also promotes the Make A Wish Foundation for seriously ill children. The event, Jones' second Formula Renault 2000 race ever, was the season opener for the nine-race European Formula 2000 Championship. Mugello, which is owned by Ferrari, is a 3.278-mile circuit with a whopping 15 turns and at least six drastically different elevation changes. "This track is very well laid out," noted Jones, who was referred to as "Manor Motorsport's American sensation" in a recent issue of Autosport magazine. "I really like it. It's not like anywhere I've ever raced before." The race attracted 33 competitors from 14 different countries, but the American rookie had all the railbirds talking when he was fourth-fastest in five of the six practice sessions on Thursday and Friday. Qualifying didn't go as well on Saturday, but Jones still earned the eighth starting spot. He was determined to improve his position as soon as the green light came on for the 14-lap race on Sunday. He got too much wheel spin, however, and was passed by six cars on the first lap. That put him in the middle of the pack, but instead of losing his composure he methodically worked his way back up through the field. On lap 10 he made a daring three-wide pass to the outside and overtook both Richard Lyons and Walter Lechner Jr., which was the highlight of his race. He reeled in Markus Winkelhock on lap 13 and was catching Richard Antinucci for seventh when time ran out, so Jones was eighth at the checkered. The race was won by Italy's Matteo Grassotto. "I'm disappointed on how the weekend worked out after practice went so well, but I'm confident that I'll be back in the top five at Donington next weekend," Jones said after the race. The event at Donington, part of the British Formula Renault 2000 Championship, will be held Monday, April 24.