Nikita Lastochkin has confirmed his return to USF2000 for a second campaign, joining reigning champion Cape Motorsports for 2016.
The 25-year-old California-based Russian driver debuted in the Mazda Road to Indy in 2015 with Team Pelfrey and finished eighth in the USF2000 standings with a top finish of fifth in the season finale.
He then joined team champions Cape Motorsports for the post-season Chris Griffis Memorial Test at COTA and showed dominant pace, topping all six sessions.
"When I got the news that I would be driving for Cape Motorsports, I was extremely happy,” Lastochkin enthused. “Without a question, it is a team that has a very impressive record as champions, and it is now up to me as a driver to deliver.
"I'm sure that with my teammates, we will be pushing each other very hard, and I am ready to fight for every pole, every race win and eventually, the title.”
Cape Motorsports fielded the last five USF2000 champions, among them the recently-announced 2016 Indy 500 entrant Matthew Brabham.
"Nikita’s performance during the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin really opened our eyes. You never really know how good someone is until you put them in your own car," said team owners Dominic and Nicholas Cape.
”If Nikita can keep producing those kinds of performances, he should be a real force to be reckoned with.”
Lastochkin is the second driver to be named by Cape Motorsports as he joins Canadian Parker Thompson, another racer with a year of prior USF2000 experience. The team is expected to announce a third driver in the near future.