DEForce Racing’s Nicolas Giaffone took lights-to-flag wins in both USF Juniors races at Barber Motorsports Park to take the points lead.
Giaffone led a team 1-2-3 in qualifying for race one, which they converted into a podium lockout. Quinn Armstrong passed team-mate Lucas Fecury for second on the opening lap though, meaning the trio did not finish in the same order that they started in, and after that overtake there was a full course yellow period as Hudson Schwartz had got himself beached in the gravel at turn two and Jack Jeffers had gone off later in the lap.
After racing resumed there was no challenge to Giaffone up front, and he set the fastet lap several times as he established by lead of 4.721 seconds by the finish. Fecury dropped off the back of Armstrong, and ended up finishing the race side-by-side with Exclusive Autosport’s Joey Brienza and only holding on to third place by 0.218s.
DC Autosport’s Ethan Ho had been fourth, and had resisted Brienza’s attacks for a lap following the restart before eventually being passed. Later in the race he also lost a place to Velocity Racing Development’s Jimmie Lockhart, who had already fought pass Max Taylor and then Erick Schotten to get into sixth before he passed Ho for a top-five finish.
Giaffone claimed pole again for race two, and on lap one Armstrong cleared Fecury for second place as in race one. This time he was able to pursue Giaffone for the first half of the race, but then the leader started to pull away and ended up finishing 6.556s clear.
Fecury ran in an isolated third place at first, before a charging Lockhart passed him on lap eight of 20. Lockhart had started sixth, passed Jack Jeffers on lap one and then been in a long queue of cars led by the fourth-placed Brienza.
He and Taylor were able to pass Brienza early on, then he hunted down Fecury. Armstrong was too far up the road to then get close to him, but third was still a strong result. Brienza ended up finishing sixth, holding off Ho in a late-race battle.
Race 1 (20 laps)
1 Nicolas Giaffone DEForce Racing 31m48.504s
2 Quinn Armstrong DEForce Racing +4.721s
3 Lucas Fecury DEForce Racing +10.556s
4 Joey Brienza Exclusive Autosport +10.774s
5 Jimmie Lockhart Velocity Racing Development +14.897s
6 Ethan Ho DC Autosport +17.194s
7 Max Taylor Velocity Racing Development +21.317s
8 Erick Schotten Exclusive Autosport +22.001s
9 Ethan Barker Velocity Racing Development +22.328s
10 Brady Golan DEForce Racing +30.709s
Pole: Giaffone, 1m25.802s
Fastest lap: Giaffone, 1m26.070s
Race 2 (20 laps)
1 Giaffone 28m56.307s
2 Armstrong +6.556s
3 Lockhart +12.098s
4 Fecury +13.663s
5 Taylor +16.093s
6 Brienza +16.809s
7 Ho +17.555s
8 Jack Jeffers Exclusive Autosport +17.840s
9 Barker +20.840s
10 Schotten +28.601s
FL: Giaffone, 1m26.189s
1 Giaffone 141 2 Brienza 120 3 Armstrong 109 4 Lockhart 87 5 Fecury 85 6 Jeffers 80 7 Ho 73 8 Taylor 66 9 Barker 64 10 Golan 60