Home News Hughes moves into USF Pro 2000 lead with Road America win

Hughes moves into USF Pro 2000 lead with Road America win

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Turn 3 Motorsport’s Lochie Hughes converted pole into victory in USF Pro 2000’s opening race at Road America, earning the points lead in the process.

Hughes came under immediate attack from Pabst Racing’s Simon Sikes at the start of the race, with an attempted move at turn one and then a successful draft past the poleman before reaching turn three. Jay Howard Driver Development’s Frankie Mossman then started attacking Hughes as Sikes briefly pulled away, but the gap was only 0.2 seconds at the end of lap one.

Hughes reclaimed the lead on lap two and broke 0.85s clear as Mossman also passed Sikes. The gap hovered at around 1.2s the next two laps, then on lap five it reduced dramatically to 0.4s. Mossman filled Hughes’ mirrors thereon, and reports of rain hitting the track on lap 10 of 15 added more risk to fighting for the lead.

Eventually Mossman did try to make a move, getting alongside Hughes on the outside of turn one and then the inside of turn three on lap 11. He got ahead, but Hughes was back in front a few corners later and ended the lap 0.51s clear.

On the last lap Mossman had closed in and he tried repeating his earlier attempts at overtakes. Neither worked, and Hughes defended the inside of turn five to prevent him trying a pass there as well. That played into Sikes’ hands as he was then able to pressure Mossman as Hughes pulled away.

At the final corner Sikes tried going around the outside of Mossman but went onto the grass, spun around and then got himself struck in the gravel trap. Velocity Racing Development’s debutant Nico Christodoulou crashed out of 13th a few corners earlier.

Hughes therefore won by 1.1382s over Mossman, with BN Racing’s Ricardo Escotto completing the podium. He had actually been overtaken by Pabst’s Jace Denmark on the last lap, but managed to get back past.

There was a multi-car fight through much of the race for sixth, but which became fifth at the very end, and Pabst’s Christian Brooks emerged on top of that after passing Turn 3’s Danny Dyszelski on lap 10. VRD’s Nikita Johnson won his fight with TJ Speed’s Liam Sceats to finish seventh, but he lost the points lead to Hughes.

Braden Eves had gone from 11th to sixth on lap one, but on lap five started a fall down the order that eventually led to him finishing 15th ahead of Ethan Ho. Nicolas Baptiste spun down to last on lap two.

Race results (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport 31m09.7351s
2 Frankie Mossman JHDD +1.1382s
3 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +3.8787s
4 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +4.1036s
5 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +5.0151s
6 Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport +6.4791s
7 Nikita Johnson Velocity Racing Development +12.4262s
8 Liam Sceats TJ Speed +12.6150s
9 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +14.5137s
10 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +17.1838s
11 Nicholas Monteiro DEForce Racing +17.4413s
12 Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing +26.4304s
13 Cooper Becklin TJ Speed +27.2501s
14 Tyke Durst Turn 3 Motorsport +30.3471s
15 Braden Eves Exclusive Autosport +37.0117s
16 Ethan Ho Turn 3 Motorsport +47.8453s
17 Artie Flores BN Racing +49.8773s
18 Nicolas Baptiste BN Racing +1m09.0744s
19 Charles Finelli FatBoy Racing! +1m58.7480s
20 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +1 lap
21 Nico Christodoulou Velocity Racing Development +1 lap
Fastest lap: Mossman, 2m02.7319s

Championship standings
1 Hughes 209   2 Johnson 192   3 Denmark 180   4 Sceats 167   5 Brooks 157   6 Yeany 148   7 Mossman 138   8 Eves 135   9 Dyszelski 128   10 Escotto 126