Zach Veach Wins USF2000 Season-Opener at Sebring
The race was pretty good. I am really excited to see how tomorrow goes but I can’t thank my team enough.
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/Luke-Ellery.com/Red 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.”