NA-F2000: JDC MotorSports Road America summary

MILLER DELIVERS ANOTHER F2000 PODIUM FOR JDC MOTORSPORTS Rookie pilot reduces the gap to first in the 2008 title chase with his fourth top-three result MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (August 4, 2008) -- JDC MotorSports continued its superb return to...

Rookie pilot reduces the gap to first in the 2008 title chase with his fourth top-three result

MINNEAPOLIS, MN. (August 4, 2008) -- JDC MotorSports continued its superb return to Formula Ford 2000 competition over the weekend (August 2-3) at Road America, scoring its fourth podium finish in the F2000 Championship Series presented by Hoosier Racing Tire. Series rookie Chris Miller maintained second place in the championship fight, finishing second and fifth in Rounds Nine and Ten. Fellow rookie Juan Pfeiffer cracked the top-10 in race one, before an incident in race two resulted in a 29th place finish. Contesting his first-ever series races, John Miller was classified 28th in both rounds.

Racing at the team's home track of Road America in Wisconsin, all three JDC drivers got their first opportunity to begin working on the ideal set-up during the series' Thursday morning testing. As he had at every event thus far, it was not long before Chris Miller was posting times near the top of the leaderboard, eventually ending the day in sixth overall. While both John Miller, returning to the cockpit after a multi-year hiatus, and Pfieffer steadily improved in testing, neither were among the top-half of the large 40+ car field at the conclusion of the day.

One day later, the action officially got underway at the renowned four-mile road course via two practice sessions. As expected, Miller proved quickest among the JDC MotorSports trio, turning the fourth quickest time in the morning session behind the wheel of his No. 85 Miller Milling/Redline Oil/JDC MotorSports entry. Pfeiffer had battled assorted problems in testing but continued to get quicker with each passing lap, cracking the top-15 in morning practice. For John Miller, the two sessions proved frustrating, as he was unable to set the sort of times desired in the morning session and failed to record a time in the afternoon session.

As part of a National Auto Sport Association event, day one of racing commenced on Saturday (August 2) with a 25-minute qualifying session setting the grid for Round Nine later in the day. Posting his best time to date, Miller positioned himself for a strong race by earning P5 on the grid. Piloting the No. 86 Delavaco Energy/Omega Energy Columbia/Miller Milling/Redline Oil/JDC MotorSports car, Pfieffer was unable to significantly improve his previous best time in qualifying, capturing 13th place for the rolling start. Driving the No. 82 Miller Milling/Redline Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, John Miller never truly got up to speed in the session, slotting into 40th place.

Mere hours later, the drivers were back on course for race one of the doubleheader. For the drivers, teams and fans on hand, the race proved uninspiring due to multiple crashes resulting in only two laps of green flag action. Miller avoided an incident involving the front-row starters in turn one to slot into second place by turn three, never relinquishing the position. As a result, the Edina, Minn., native scored his fourth podium finish of the year and reduced the point gap to the leader of the championship fight, who finished further down the order. Deeper in the field, both Pfeiffer and John Miller managed to keep their noses clean as multiple cars went off-track around them. As a result, when the checkered flag waved, Pfeiffer had earned a top-10 finish in front of his family who was visiting from Colombia, while John Miller advanced 12 places to 28th.

Returning to the well-liked road course north of Milwaukee, the final day of action again featured a morning qualifying session prior to Round 10. In a repeat of Q1, Miller was among the leaders the entire session, eventually securing fifth on the grid. Pfeiffer was 16th in Q2, while John Miller was 34th overall, having been contacted by another car during qualifying.

Unlike the race one, Round 10 proved to be a relatively clean affair, with only one full-course caution. Among the lead pack for the entire race, Miller eventually emerged from a multi-car fight for position in fifth, further securing second place in the championship fight, having reduced the gap to the series leader to 46 points.

"Road America was a very solid event for us, scoring valuable points both days, leading our first lap and earning the fastest lap on Saturday and fastest Zetec lap on Sunday," offered Miller. "We made good progress in the championship and now need to continue our pace and momentum as we head to Mosport. I can't say enough about the team. John Church engineered me the best car in the field this past weekend and Dave Hopple, who prepares the car along with my mechanic Rob Pretts, are the reason we have 10 consecutive top-10 finishes."

While John Miller made the afternoon race thanks to superb work by the JDC crew to repair his car, his race ended three laps prematurely, classified in 28th. Pfeiffer was once again advancing his way up the charts in the race, when he was struck by another competitor, ending his race in 29th place.

"Road America was not the weekend we expected," admitted Pfeiffer. "After starting in a decent way in practice, we struggled in Q1 when I did not have the chance to get a draft and we also found out that our gearing was a little bit off as we had poor straightaway speed and qualified 19th. We made an adjustment to help for the race and I managed to avoid incidents and pass many guys to finished tenth with just one and a half laps of green, so it was not a bad result. In the second race, I was improving my position after hard battles with some Pintos that were incredibly fast at the end of the straights, but then on the restart one of those aggressive drivers just took me out, damaging my left rear suspension and ending my race. Once again, I was a victim of another driver's mistake, but now we have to move on and think of the next race in Mosport for what will be the most crowded weekend of the year".

The JDC MotorSports Formula Ford 2000 team's next race is on August 23-24 with Rounds 11 and 12 taking place at Mosport International Raceway in Canada.

-credit: jdc

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Chris Miller