PODIUM FINISH FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS NEWCOMER ELLERY IN USF2000 FINALE Australian took home third place in race two of series debut event at Road Atlanta BRASELTON, GA. (October 5, 2010) - Junior formula car standout JDC MotorSports ended the...
PODIUM FINISH FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS NEWCOMER ELLERY IN USF2000 FINALE
Australian took home third place in race two of series debut event at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, GA. (October 5, 2010) - Junior formula car standout JDC MotorSports ended the 2010 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda season in fine form this past week (September 30-October 1), earning another podium finish in the season-finale doubleheader at Road Atlanta. Australian series newcomer Luke Ellery rebounded from a mechanical issue in Round 11, where he was classified 10th, to finish an impressive third in Round 14. Raphael Abbate meanwhile added a pair of top-10s via eighth and sixth place finishes, while fellow F2000 rookie Mikhail Goikhberg was classified ninth and 11th in the two races.
With talented series regulars Abbate and Goikhberg being joined by highly-rated Australian Formula Ford racer Ellery under the JDC MotorSports awning in Georgia, the Minnesota-based team was poised to challenge for top honors in Rounds 11 and 12 of the highly competitive USF2000 National Championship. The trio, having shown good speed in the untimed promoter's test day runs, continued to look good when official practice got underway. Goikhberg posted the second quickest time in the afternoon session, while Abbate was fourth best in both sessions, and Ellery cracked the top-five in the morning run.
When the lone qualifying run for USF2000 field took place on Thursday morning, the field was greeted with less than wet conditions. Despite the tricky conditions, all three JDC racers were part of the mix for top honors in a session that was twice halted for cars off-course. Ellery in the end led the contingent, earning a front-row start for his series debut with the second quickest time. Goikhberg was next best via the fifth best time, while Abbate made it two JDC cars on row three with the sixth fastest lap.
Getting the green flag later in the day, it initially appeared the JDC MotorSports racers were headed towards some great results and potentially a win. Ellery, getting a good launch, passed for the lead in turn one, holding the top-spot until the long back straight, were the polesitter retook first place. The Australian's chances at a win or a podium finish however soon vanished, as an overheating engine rapidly pushed him down the order, eventually forcing him to retire on lap six. Spirits remained high in the JDC camp though, thanks to Goikhberg taking over third place just as his teammate's race was ending. The Russian's fine run was not to last unfortunately, as a few laps later a mechanical failure resulted in the No. 10 Chetverg/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry coasting to a stop. Abbate's luck proved no better, as he was involved in a lap two incident in turn 10a, resulting in a stop for a new nose and front-wing assembly.
While some drivers and teams would have let the results from Round 11 get them down, the JDC squad quickly regrouped, determined to fight back in Round 12. That being said, things did not get off to ideal start for JDC during the Friday morning race, as Goikhberg retired on the pace lap. Ellery and Abbate however remained focused, and when the green flag waved, the duo promptly began making their mark. Ellery, showing the speed and racecraft that had led him to win every Formula Ford race he had finished this season, quickly advanced up to a top-five spot. Abbate likewise followed suit in his No. 11 Avery Dennison/Alphacolor/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, eventually settling into sixth place. Ellery's charge to front was not complete though. Making the most of a late race caution, the No. 5 Luke-Ellery.com/JDC MotorSports racer first took over fourth place on the subsequent race re-start, before finding a way past the third place man. Holding the position to the checkered flag, Ellery provided JDC with its ninth podium finish of the season, not far ahead of Abbate, who secured fourth place in the championship fight with his sixth place finish. Goikhberg, despite his disappointing end to the 2010 season, took home third place in the final point standings.
JDC MotorSports will now take a very short break to reflect on its 2010 season, before commencing preparations for the 2011 Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda title fight.
-source: jdc motorsports