Home News Papasavvas earns his first USF2000 win as Johnson goes on charge

Papasavvas earns his first USF2000 win as Johnson goes on charge

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Jay Howard Driver Development’s Evagoras Papasavvas earned his first USF2000 win in the Friday race at Mid-Ohio.

Papasavvas was fastest in qualifying earlier in the day but got a two-place grid penalty, putting Simon Sikes on pole ahead of Ethan Ho.

However Papasavvas was able to pass both on the opening lap and was half a second clear when the pace car was called on lap two after Avery Towns went off at The Keyhole.

Racing resumed on lap five and Sikes tried to regain the lead as Mac Clark tried to pass Hughes for third. Neither succeeded, and then there was another caution period as Jacob Douglas crashed into Elliot Cox and spun arond Max Garcia at turn six.

Douglas and Cox went into the gravel, and therefore retirement, while Garcia was able to get going again at the back of the field and even stayed on the lead lap despite making multiple trips to the pits like Towns.

The next restart was on lap 10 of 20, and Clark made his move on Hughes. The pair kept with the top two, who were never more than half a second apart and split by less than 0.3s for several laps late on Sikes really piled on the pressure.

On the last lap he went for the lead around the outside of turn four and got ahead, but they banged wheels and he also had a compromised line for turn five which meant Papasavvas had the inside line and the lead once more at turn six.

Papasavvas hugged the inside line through the remaining corners to hold on for his maiden win, with the top four covered by less than a second and Sikes taking the points lead from Hughes.

A remarkable fifth was Nikita Johnson, who qualified sixth but had an opening lap off that dropped him to 20th. He made it up to 17th before the first caution period, but then lost a spot. On the second restart he jumped several places to 11th, then picked off a driver almost every lap with his final victim being Ethan Ho. His fastest lap was coniderably quicker than anybody else’s.

Chase Gardner was set for seventh but dropped to 10th on the last lap, while debutant Thomas Schrage (who missed qualifying) went from 22nd to 15th on lap one, gained three spots on the first restart and went on to finish 13th.

Race result (20 laps)
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD 34m39.9843s
2 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing +0.3341s
3 Mac Clark DEForce Racing +0.5875s
4 Lochie Hughes JHDD +0.9915s
5 Nikita Johnson Velocity Racing Development +4.7754s
6 Ethan Ho DC Autosport +5.4656s
7 Sam Corry Velocity Racing Development +9.8935s
8 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +10.7697s
9 Al Morey JHDD +11.1730s
10 Chase Gardner Exclusive Autosport +11.5394s
11 Max Taylor Velocity Racing Development +13.2801s
12 Danny Dyszelski Velocity Racing Development +14.4123s
13 Thomas Schrage Exclusive Autosport +14.6090s
14 Zack Ping Velocity Racing Development +14.8383s
15 Logan Adams JHDD +15.2136s
16 Maxwell Jamieson DEForce Racing +16.6739s
17 Brady Golan DEForce Racing +19.9409s
18 Gordon Scully Velocity Racing Development +22.3144s
19 Carson Etter DC Autosport +31.6856s
20 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +36.7241s
21 Avery Towns Exclusive Autosport +3 laps
Ret Elliot Cox SFHR
Ret Jacob Douglas Pabst Racing
Fastest lap: Johnson, 1m22.8732s

Championship standings
1 Sikes 271   2 Hughes 268   3 Johnson 227   4 Clark 194   5 Papasavvas 191   6 Gardner 147   7 Garciarce 146   8 Corry 125   9 Dyszelski 122   10 Douglas 111