Cape Motorsport’s Thomas Nepveu took his maiden USF2000 race win at Road America, holding off a late charge from Legacy Autosport’s Simon Sikes.
The cool conditions on Sunday morning allowed for Formula Ford 1600-style racing throughout, with drivers going two or three-wide on a regular basis throughout the race.
DEForce Racing’s Kiko Porto started at on pole and left team-mate, Nolan Siegel, at the start line as there was contact for Joe Dooling Autosports’ Trey Burke at the start.
There was further contact at turns five and eight on the opening lap, including for former points leader Yuven Sundaramoorthy. Ultimately, seven drivers pitted at the end of the first lap, which was put under caution.
The action resumed on lap three, and Cape’s Michael d’Orlando was on the move right away. However, Nepveu, who started seventh, went from fifth by the exit of the first corner to the lead four corners later, making a three-wide lunge for the lead.
DEForce’s Prescott Campbell came back however, and briefly led, before Nepveu got back past.
From there, Campbell and Porto squabbled over second, allowing Nepveu to form a small gap.
Sikes, who before this race had not taken a top-five finish in USF2000, then got past Campbell and gradually closed in on Nepveu.
The pair went side-by-side for much of the final lap, and they went two-wide across the finish line. Nepveu ultimately held on by a small margin.
Pabst Racing’s Josh Pierson rounded out the podium beating Turn 3 Motorsport’s Josh Green, as Porto recovered to fifth after slipping to ninth.
Despite pitting, Sundaramoorthy was able to recover to take sixth ahead of Pabst team-mate Jace Denmark, who started 14th.
Ignite Autosport’s Spike Kohlbecker, Turn 3’s Dylan Christie and Force Indy’s Myles Rowe rounded out the top 10, and several drivers behind continued to battle right until the end.
Campbell retired on the final lap with a mechanical issue, while frontrunners Siegel, d’Orlando and Brooks all had to pit late in the race for front wing damage in addition to the seven who did at the end of the first lap.
Brooks had started 15th but had climbed into contention before pulling off with the damage he had sustained, while Siegel was fighting towards the front before spinning at Turn 8.
Race results (12 laps)
|1||Thomas Nepveu||Cape Motorsports||30m41.9195s|
|2||Simon Sikes||Legacy Autosport||+0.0679s|
|3||Josh Pierson||Pabst Racing||+2.6858s|
|4||Josh Green||Turn 3 Motorsport||+5.9745s|
|5||Kiko Porto||DEForce Racing||+6.3369s|
|6||Yuven Sundaramoorthy||Pabst Racing||+7.3121s|
|7||Jace Denmark-Gessel||Pabst Racing||+7.7523s|
|8||Spike Kohlbecker||Cape w/ Ignite Autosport||+8.0757s|
|9||Dylan Christie||Turn 3 Motorsport||+10.0689s|
|10||Myles Rowe||Force Indy||+11.5280s|
|11||Evan Stamer||Cape w/ Ignite Autosport||+14.1582s|
|13||Billy Frazer||Exclusive Autosport||+16.2191s|
|14||Ely Navarro||DEForce Racing||+16.3296s|
|16||Kent Vaccaro||Miller Vinatieri Motorsports||+18.8746s|
|17||Trey Burke||Joe Dooling Autosports||+19.0109s|
|19||Matt Round-Garrido||Exclusive Autosport||+44.8868s|
|20||Christian Brooks||Exclusive Autosport||+1m11.3035s|
|21||Michael d’Orlando||Cape Motorsports||+1m50.4300s|
|22||Michael Myers||Michael Myers Racing||+1 lap|
|23||Nolan Siegel||DEForce Racing||+1 lap|
|24||Prescott Campbell||DEForce Racing||+2 laps|
|Ret||Erik Evans||Velocity Racing Development|
|Fastest lap: Sikes, 2m11.0062s