Home News Sikes and Hughes win but also struggle in USF2000 at Road America

Sikes and Hughes win but also struggle in USF2000 at Road America

by Ida Wood

Photo: Gavin Baker Photography

Pabst Racing’s Simon Sikes and Jay Howard Driver Development’s Lochie Hughes took a win apiece in USF2000’s two races at Road America.

Hughes had pole for race one and led Sikes and DEForce Racing’s Mac Clark until he went off exiting turn six and dropped behind the pair.

On lap two a clash between Noah Ping and Avery Towns at turn one meant the pace car was called out, and racing did not resume until lap five.

Sikes left it late to return to racing speed and resisted Clark’s attacks through the first few corners, with Hughes then getting around the outside of Clark before going off once again – now with a damaged rear wing – and dropping to sixth.

There was a second brief caution period on lap six, and on the lap seven restart Clark tried once again to pass Sikes at turn one. He could not get through and behind them a three-wide moment into turn two by the drivers fighting for third place led to Jorge Garcicarce going off.

Clark had his own off exiting turn six, and another caution period was called for with debris on track. Jacob Douglas and Max Taylor were now second and third behind Sikes, and on the lap nine restart Taylor came under pressure from Elliot Cox before Chase Gardner cannily passed both.

Sikes built a gap through the rest of the 12-lap race, with Gardner also escaping the battle for third. Nikita Johnson came out on top of a three-wide fight at turn one to take the final podium position, with Gardner fourth and Cox fifth.

Evagoras Papasavvas survived a high-speed off on the last lap to finish ninth, while Hughes recovered from 17th to 10th before a five-second penalty for blocking dropped him back to 12th.

Maxwell Jamieson recieved a 30s penalty for avoidable contact with Max Garcia, that knocked him from 15th down to 17th. Clark finished 16th, setting the fastest lap on the final tour.

Clark beat title rivals Sikes and Hughes to race two pole and led the initial action before a lap two caution period after Sam Corry crashed out.

Racing resumed on lap four and Hughes twice attacked Clark. Behind them, Cox lost his front wing in contact with Papasavvas who was sent into the barriers. Cox managed to get back to the pits, and a second caution period occurred so Papasavvas’s car could be retrieved.

Sikes had dropped down the order while green flags were out, and spent the rest of the race trying to stay in the top 10. Clark meanwhile lost his lead straight away on the next restart, dropping to third.

Hughes took the lead and kept it to the finish, while Clark twice had to pass Garcia to secure second place. Sikes’ 10th place means Hughes now leads the championship by three points over him.

Results round-up
Race 1 (12 laps)
1 Simon Sikes Pabst Racing 33m51.2315s
2 Jacob Douglas Pabst Racing +4.3876s
3 Nikita Johnson VRD +6.1056s
4 Chase Gardner Excluive Autosport +7.7244s
5 Elliot Cox SFHR +8.6036s
6 Max Taylor VRD +11.3292s
7 Ethan Ho DC Autosport +12.1966s
8 Evagoras Papasavvas JHDD +12.7432s
9 Jorge Garciarce DEForce Racing +17.4750s
10 Danny Dyszelski VRD +18.2011s
Fastest lap: Mac Clark, 2m09.1665s

Race 2 (12 laps)
1 Lochie Hughes JHDD 31m53.3558s
2 Clark DEForce Racing +0.6273s
3 Max Garcia Pabst Racing +1.0079s
4 Garciarce +3.9853s
5 Johnson +3.9935s
6 Douglas +9.2144s
7 Gardner +9.2617s
8 Dyszelski +9.5123s
9 Ho +9.5307s
10 Sikes +11.5301s
FL: Dyszelki, 2m08.8197s

Championship standings
1 Hughes 249   2 Sikes 246   3 Johnson 209   4 Clark 172   Papasavvas 159   6 Gardner 136   7 Garciarce 133   8 Dyszelski 113   9 Sam Corry 111   10 Douglas 111