MONTEREY, Calif. – Nico Jamin has captured the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda championship, following another dominant drive in the second-to-last race of the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The 19-year-old Frenchman, driver of the No. 2 Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing entry, needed only to leave Saturday’s race with a 33-point lead over closest title rival Jake Eidson of Pabst Racing.
However Jamin delivered the title in style. He entered the weekend with a 50-point lead, scored the pole on Friday for another point, then ran away with the race for his eighth win of the season, and fifth in a row, to secure the title.
The title is his first in his second season in the championship, and the fifth straight for Cape in USF2000. Jamin follows Florian Latorre, Scott Hargrove, Matthew Brabham and Petri Suvanto. Sage Karam, then driving for Andretti Autosport, is the last non-Cape USF2000 champion.
While it looked easy from outside the cockpit, Jamin called it the “longest race of his life” behind the wheel.
“To be honest with you, it’s been the longest race of my life,” Jamin said. “The first or second lap I got a big gap, so don’t do any mistakes. Something in the car. I was so close. Don’t take any risk, don’t take any big curbs. But it was a really long race.
“I don’t have any big pressure anymore. Now I just have my clear concentrating to get another win.”
Jamin won by 8.2995 seconds over Anthony Martin and Eidson, who completed the podium finishers in the half hour race.
In the season finale, Jamin is supporting The B+ (Be Positive) Foundation, one of the nation’s leading organizations fighting childhood cancer. Jamin will donate 100 percent of his Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca event prize money to The B+ Foundation.
Martin made a dynamic start in the No. 33 John Cummiskey Racing entry, getting around Jamin’s teammate Aaron Telitz, and then held on from there to end second.
“I got a really good run on Aaron and his slipstream. Jake was on the inside. Well I don’t really want to give up a spot to Jake. I got on the outside, gave Jake some room, got inside for Turn 3. Inside always wins there.
“I love (Turn) 6. I love the blind corners. The danger factor. You don’t know what’s over the hills. You have to trust your driving instincts. Fast corner, drops off and you bottom out a little bit. Awesome corner.”
Telitz and Parker Thompson completed the top five finishers. Race two on Sunday follows the last Indy Lights race of the year.