Home News Max Taylor gets second successive USF2000 win in Mid-Ohio race one

Max Taylor gets second successive USF2000 win in Mid-Ohio race one

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Velocity Racing Development’s Max Taylor won the opening USF2000 race of the weekend at Mid-Ohio on Friday.

The day began with practice, and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Evagoras Papasavvas set a 1m23.3024s to go fastest by 0.239 seconds. The DEForce Racing trio of Nicolas Giaffone, Lucas Fecury and Quinn Armstrong were his closest rivals, with team-mate Michael Costello 0.4158s back in fifth.

Papasavvas was fastest again in qualifying, although for a while it looked like Costello would take pole. He set a 1m23.6672s with several minutes to go that went unbeaten until after the chequered flag had waved. With a few seconds to go Papasavvas had moved up to second, and then on his final lap improved again to snatch pole by 0.1271s.

Armstrong was also able to beat Costello, and Giaffone qualified fourth ahead of Velocity Racing Development’s Thomas Schrage.

A lot of rain fell before race one, so drivers were given two warm-up laps. However many still got caught out by the wet conditions when they approached them at racing speed for the first time, and Papasavvas spun into the side of Armstrong while going down the Esses. Armstrong then crashed out after turn eight, Papasavvas rejoined in 10th place and Thomas Schrage also spun and required assistance to restart so a full course yellow period was called.

Taylor, who had started seventh, moved into the lead ahead of Giaffone, Costello and Ayrton Houk. Racing resumed on lap five, and moment before that Taylor almost spun at the final corner as he put the throttle down. The race was neutralised again soon after as Houk and Costello went off at turn one, then the next restart was on lap nine.

This time Carson Etter did what Taylor had threatened to by spinning exiting the final corner, so another FCY period immediately began.

There was finally some real racing on lap 12, with Sam Corry attacking Giaffone into turn one at the restart while points leader Max Garcia rose from eighth to fourth. On the next lap he passed Corry around the outside of turn two, and did the same on Giaffone the lap after that before another FCY due to Jace Bacon beaching his car in the gravel.

The race was shortened by two laps, and on the 18th and final lap the drivers were freed once more. Taylor held off Garcia to win, Giaffone resisted Corry for third, and Elliot Cox passed Brady Golan for sixth.

Race result (18 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Max Taylor Velocity Racing Development 39m58.9008s
2 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +0.6031s
3 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing +1.6299s
4 Sam Corry Pabst Racing +1.9658s
5 Hudson Schwartz Pabst Racing +2.2767s
6 Elliot Cox SFHRD +2.8546s
7 Brady Golan DEForce Racing +3.6299s
8 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD +4.0235s
9 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport +5.7331s
10 Lucas Fecury DEForce Racing +6.8071s
11 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing +7.1974s
12 Giovanni Cabrera Exclusive Autosport +10.0458s
13 Thomas Schrage Velocity Racing Development +1 lap
14 Carson Etter DC Autosport +1 lap
15 Ayrton Houk DC Autosport +1 lap
16 Jace Bacon JHDD +2 laps
Ret Michael Costello JHDD
Ret Quinn Armstrong DEForce Racing
Pole: Papasavvas, 1m23.5019s   Fastest lap: Taylor, 1m37.4193s

Championship standings
Garcia 266   2 Corry 224   3 Taylor 214   4 Papasavvas 209   5 Brienza 172   6 Cox 161   7 Schwartz 137   8 Giaffone 135   9 Costello 122   10 Houk 119