Simon Sikes finally claimed his first USF2000 win in the second race at Sebring, and moves into the points lead in the process.
Simon started from pole and defended the inside line at the start, as Lochie Hughes and Ethan Ho passed his Pabst Racing team-mate Max Garcia to move into second and third.
A few corners later Garcia made contact with Nikita Johnson and spun around, dropping him to last.
Evagoras Papasavvas and Elliot Cox passed Ho on lap two, and they continued to battle over third place.
Cox managed to overtake Papasavvas on the inside of the final corner at the end of lap five, and they then went side-by-side into turn one with Cox on the inside.
They remained side-by-side exiting the corner and collided at turn two as Papasavvas moved across to the left. Papasavvas spun and was hit by Sam Corry, whose race was ended, but only dropped to sixth while Cox fell to 11th place.
The incident led to the pace car being called out, and racing did not resume until lap 10 of a scheduled 12.
Hughes tried passing Sikes for the lead around the outside of turn one on the restart, but went off track and was lucky to return to the circuit without any further drama. Mac Clark was able to pass him at the next braking zone though, then Jacob Douglas came through too before the race was put under another caution period.
The race was cut short by a lap and finished behind the pace car as a result, with Sikes taking victory – his first in the series after racing part-time over the last three seasons – ahead of Clark, Douglas, Hughes and Cox.
Papasavvas dropped to eighth behind Jorge Garciarce and the recovering Max Garcia, and Johnson finished ninth.
Louka St.-Jean was eighth at the restart but ended up retiring on that lap, although it was not immediately clear if the end to his race was what prompted the second caution period.
Race result (11 laps)
|1||Simon Sikes||Pabst Racing||29m37.205s|
|2||Mac Clark||DEForce Racing||+0.595s|
|3||Jacob Douglas||Exclusive Autosport||+1.385s|
|6||Jorge Garciarce||DEForce Racing||+3.729s|
|7||Max Garcia||Pabst Racing||+4.029s|
|9||Nikita Johnson||Velocity Racing Development||+6.131s|
|10||Chase Gardner||Exclusive Autosport||+6.609s|
|12||Gordon Scully||Velocity Racing Development||+7.710s|
|13||Zack Ping||Velocity Racing Development||+9.129s|
|14||Maxwell Jamieson||DEForce Racing||+10.075s|
|15||Ethan Ho||DC Autosport||+12.381s|
|16||Avery Towns||Exclusive Autosport||+13.901s|
|17||Danny Dyszelski||Velocity Racing Development||+1 lap|
|Ret||Sam Corry||Velocity Racing Development|
|Fastest lap: Sikes, 2m05.712s