Home News Hughes handles restarts to start USF Pro 2000 season with a win

Hughes handles restarts to start USF Pro 2000 season with a win

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Turn 3 Motorsport’s Lochie Hughes handled several restarts to win the USF Pro 2000 season opener in St. Petersburg from pole position.

The rolling start got waved off due to drivers being out of position so racing did not get underway until lap two. Everyone got through the first corners cleanly, but Simon Sikes and David Morales then crashed at the kink between turns nine and 10 and a caution period was required.

Hughes kept the lead, and Danny Dyszelski dropped fom the front row to fifth behind Christian Brooks, Liam Sceats and Ricardo Escotto. Red flags waved on lap four, and 17 minutes had passed on the race clock when the race restarted behind the pace car on lap five and with one lap taken off the planned 25-lap race distance.

Tyke Durst had to pit on that lap, dropping him to the back for when green flags waved on lap six. The top four quickly broke away, and by lap nine Jace Denmark ended his race in the pits after running in sixth.

There was plenty of side-by-side action, and this helped Hughes pull away. Dyszelski started to lose even more ground on lap 11, falling behind Nikita Johnson on that lap and five other drivers on the next one before retiring.

Adam Fitzgerald was another driver who got into trouble and he went down a lap by pitting, and Hughes was three seconds clear when a full course yellow period was required on lap 16 due to Shawn Rahid crashing at turn seven the previoous lap.

Sceats had been pressuring Brooks for second prior to that, but on the lap 19 restart he lost third to Escotto at turn one. Three corners later there was another FCY period as Durst crashed at turn four.

There was one more restart on lap 22 and Brooks attacked Highes at turn one. He could not by, and was a second behind by the end of the lap. Escotto spun away third at turn four, and that led to racing being neutralised once again on the 24th and final lap. That secured victory for Hughes, ahead of Brooks and Sceats.

Race result (24 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport 46m38.3753s
2 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +0.9900s
3 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +1.5954s
4 Nikita Johnson VRD +2.8931s
5 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport +3.3554s
6 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +4.1233s
7 Hunter Yeany TJ Speed +4.8797s
8 Frankie Mossman JHDD +5.4509s
9 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +6.3087s
10 Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport +7.4192s
11 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +7.7865s
12 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +8.113s
13 Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing +9.1540s
14 Avery Towns Exclusive Autosport +1 lap
15 Adam Fitzgerald Turn 3 Motorsport +1 lap
Ret Ricardo Escotto BN Racing
Ret Tyke Durst Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Shawn Rashid VRD
Ret Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport
Ret Jace Denmark Pabst Racing
Ret Simon Sikes Pabst Racing
Ret David Morales TJ Speed
Fastest lap: Johnson, 1m10.6266s