Toronto USF2000: Thompson scores Exclusive Autosport’s first win
Canada’s Parker Thompson not only scored a home win but also the first victory for a new-for-2017 USF2000 team, after holding off Cape Motorsports’ Oliver Askew to the checkered flag.
Thompson made a strong start that saw him hold off the season’s dominant driver, Oliver Askew, and despite the five-time winning rookie’s best efforts, he couldn’t make any headway on the sophomore driver in the new USF2000 team, Exclusive Autosport – a Canadian squad based out of Florida.
A jubilant Thompson said: ““When the checkered flag came out, the emotions were just so high – I was screaming, so I apologize to anybody on my radio channel.
“This win tops anything I’ve done this year. It’s extremely hard to win in this series and I think I took a few wins for granted last year, but to have the team behind me here is so emotional. They are so invested in winning so to get the job done for them and get our first win together feels so good.
“It’s been a testing season – Exclusive Autosport is new to the Mazda Road to Indy so we knew we had a tough challenge against some very dominant teams. But coming into our home race, we were very confident. I know I’m fast here and I knew we had a great street course setup from St. Pete and the team did what they do best: they gave me a great race car and I drove it well to take the win. I can’t thank them enough.”
Rinus VeeKay of Pabst Racing, who started third, kept this pair in sight, set fastest lap and finished just 1.3 seconds adrift of Askew. This trio were in a class of their own, thanks to the demise of Team Pelfrey’s Kaylen Frederick on Lap 3 and BN Racing’s David Malukas on Lap 6 due to contact.
Frederick had been holding off Malukas but snagged a tire barrier, and the damage was enough to end his race. Ironically, Malukas’ race would end at the same spot and in similar manner three laps later, after taking VeeKay around the outside.
ArmsUp Motorsports’ Alexandre Baron, who started eighth, might have had the pace to claim fourth, but a clash with Pabst Racing’s Calvin Ming at Turn 3 resulted in a DNF for Ming and a spin for Baron, dropping him down to 10th.
That left Jose Sierra, on his race debut in the series to claim fourth for DEForce Racing, albeit more than 20sec from the leader. He was six seconds ahead of the Pabst entry of Lucas Kohl, with Baron doing a decent job to recover to sixth, aided by Team Pelfrey’s Robert Megennis making contact with a wall.
Iowa USF2000: Askew takes dominant win over Pabst pair
Toronto USF2000: Thompson completes victorious double in homeland