Home News Johnson does USFP2000 double at Mid-Ohio to close in on points lead

Johnson does USFP2000 double at Mid-Ohio to close in on points lead

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Velocity Racing Development’s Nikita Johnson won both races in round six of the USF Pro 2000 season at Mid-Ohio.

Johnson took a lights-to-flag victory in race one, which had two formation laps due to him not backing up the field for the first attempt at a rolling start.

It took seven laps for Johnson to break a second clear of Pabst Racing’s Jace Denmark in second place, and two laps later he had a gap of 1.5s. It ebbed and flowed between 1.2s and 1.6s thereon, with Johnson finishing the 30-lap race 1.3835s ahead.

Denmark’s team-mate Christian Brooks started and finished third, three seconds behind the winner.

Turn 3 Motorsport’s Lochie Hughes passed Exclusive Autosport’s Braden Eves on lap one then DEForce Racing’s Mac Clark and Pabst’s Simon Sikes in almost one move on lap three after Clark had tried and failed to overtake Sikes. Hughes and Sikes finished four and six seconds behind Johnson respectively, while a gap of 23.6s opened up to Clark in sixth.

Frankie Mossman took seventh from Jorge Garciarce in a side-by-side move at turn four on lap 15, with Ricardo Escotto finishing just behind Garciarce in ninth after being passed by him on lap two. VRD’s Nico Christodoulou charged up from 18th to finish 10th, most of his progress coming in the last few laps.

Eves meanwhile was shuffled down to 12th behind the debuting Alessandro de Tullio.

Race one’s fastest laps set most of race two’s grid, with Sikes on pole ahead of Denmark, Hughes, Brooks, Johnson and Turn 3’s Danny Dyszelski.

Christodoulou went off on the straight to turn three on lap one, and Johnson took third from Brooks with a diving turn four move on lap four. There was a caution period a lap later as Liam Sceats and Frankie Mossman struck trouble, and when racing resumed on lap nine there were two swift moves from Johnson to put him in the lead before even reaching turn two.

Sikes, Hughes and Brooks were among the drivers involved in turn four incidents that led to the pace car coming back out and Brooks retiring. On the next restart Dyszelski passed Nicolas Baptiste for fourth before a final corner crash caused another caution.

Baptiste and Eves headed to the pits to retire, and the top two sprinted away on the lap 15 restart while Dyszelski got stuck behind Logam Adams. By the time he got ahead on lap 23, there was a nine-second gap to make up. It grew rather than shrank, as Johnson took his sixth win of 2024.

Christodoulou, points leader Hughes and Sikes recovered to sixth, seventh and eighth, shuffling Clark and de Tullio down to ninth and 10th. Escotto’s defences in fifth place proved inpenetratable.

Results round-up
Race 1 (30 laps)
1 Nikita Johnson Velocity Racing Developent 40m18.6270s
2 Jace Denmark Pabst Racing +1.3835s
2 Christian Brooks Pabst Racing +3.0223s
4 Lochie Hughes Turn 3 Motorsport +4.2641s
5 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +6.3839s
6 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +23.6121s
7 Frankie Mossman JHDD +25.1639s
8 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +39.3252s
9 Ricardo Escotto BN Racing +39.6591s
10 Nico Christodoulou Velocity Racing Development +39.8628s
Fastest lap: Sikes, 1m17.9095s

Race 2 (30 laps)
1 Johnson 45m56.2628s
2 Denmark +0.9605s
3 Danny Dyszelski Turn 3 Motorsport +12.8065s
4 Logan Adams Comet/NCMP Racing +17.0605s
5 Escotto +24.3028s
6 Christodoulou +24.7614s
7 Hughes +25.1957s
8 Sikes +25.6737s
9 Clark +25.8677s
10 Alessandro de Tullio BN Racing +26.2739s
FL: Denmark, 1m18.8379s

Championship standings
1 Hughes 304   2 Johnson 278   3 Denmark 272   4 Brooks 232   5 Sceats 211   6 Dyszelski 189   7 Sikes 179   8 Braden Eves 170   9 Escotto 165   10 Mossman 157