Home News Max Taylor charges to victory at Indianapolis in USF2000 race one

Max Taylor charges to victory at Indianapolis in USF2000 race one

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Velocity Racing Development’s Max Taylor won a midly chaotic first USF2000 race of the weekend on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

Contact involving his team-mate Xavier Kokai and DEForce Racing duo Lucas Fecury and Quinn Armstrong on the rolling start before racing even got underway led to the first three laps running behind the pace car, with Fecury being spun coming out of the final corner while Kokai broke off his front wing and Armstrong came to a stop that meant he could not even reach the start of lap one.

Fecury and Kokai pitted at the end of the opening lap, and when a second attempt at a rolling start was made on lap four there were some drivers going five-wide down the pit straight and several had big lock-ups entering turn one. Sticking to the outside helped Taylor go from third to first in the opening sector, past debuting poleman Evan Cooley and Thomas Schrage.

Cooley fell to sixth, behind Joey Brienza, Schrage, Evagoras Papasavvas and Nico Christodoulou, with Taylor streaking 1.488 seconds clear. Max Garcia got spun around mid-lap and dropped to 19th.

Schrage was spun down to 20th by Christodoulou at turn seven on lap six, copping the latter a five-second penalty, and going into lap seven Papasavvas held third ahead of Christodoulou, Cooley, Elliot Cox and Sam Corry.

The next moment of contact came at turn one on lap eight, as Corry had a big lock-up as he attempted a diving move into turn one and spun around Cox. Remarkably once Cox rejoined the track he had only dropped to ninth, while Corry cleared Christodoulou but then also got a five-second penalty.

Not far behind them was Garcia, who made it back into the top 10 on lap nine and was soon pursuing Cox.

Up front it was all under control for Taylor, and he finished the 15-lap race 4.0427s clear of Brienza. Cooley got past Papasavvas for third after a side-by-side battle on lap 12 that began at turn one and continued at turn nine and then at turn 12 as a lock-up for Papasavvas enabled Cooley to get through.

Corry’s penalty did not cost him fifth place, while Christodoulou was eliminated from proceedings after he came into battle with Nicolas Giaffone. They traded places twice, but then made contact at turn seven on the penultimate lap. Christodoulou retired, while Giaffone finished 17th.

Garcia profited to complete his recovery in sixth place after passing Cox, and Ayrton Houk went off with two laps to go while running eighth but still finished 10th after Michael Costello was penalised.

Race result (15 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Max Taylor VRD 24m24.3016s
2 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport +4.0427s
3 Evan Cooley Exclusive Autosport +5.6893s
4 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD +6.8359s
5 Sam Corry Pabst Racing +12.1806s
6 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +14.3639s
7 Elliot Cox SFHRD +16.7474s
8 Brady Golan DEForce Racing +22.2660s
9 Tanner DeFabis JHDD +23.5567s
10 Ayrton Houk DC Autosport +23.6047s
11 Carson Etter DC Autosport +23.8279s
12 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing +26.7016s
13 Michael Costello JHDD +27.3677s
14 Lucas Fecury DEForce Racing +34.3825s
15 Thomas Schrage Exclusive Autosport +39.3092s
16 Giovanni Cabrera Exclusive Autosport +45.4745s
17 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing +55.6891s
18 Xavier Kokai VRD +1 lap
19 Nico Christodoulou VRD +2 laps
20 Hudson Schwartz Pabst Racing +4 laps
Ret G3 Argyros JHDD
NC Quinn Armstrong DEForce Racing
Fastest lap: Cooley, 1m26.6182s

Championship standings
Garcia 154   Papasavvas 142   3 Corry 128   4 Taylor 96   5 Brienza 94   6 Christodoulou 87   7 Cox 77   8 Armstrong 67   9 Schwartz 63   10 Houk 60