Before Sunday’s Verizon IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy 200, three other races ran at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
For an additional recap of Friday and Saturday track activity, click on the below links:
MAZDA ROAD TO INDY PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES
The second of two Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires races followed a somewhat similar script as Saturday’s did. Santiago Urrutia dominated for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, with Dean Stoneman and Andre Negrao switching places on the podium as Stoneman ended Sunday in second. Meanwhile the toughest blow of the day occurred for Carlin’s Ed Jones in a nightmare day for the team. The Dubai-based Brit went deep off course at Turn 2, the “Keyhole,” with the team as yet unable to diagnose what caused it. It took the points leader out of the race.
- Urrutia’s weekend sweep now sees him 16 points clear of Jones, 309 to 293. Stoneman is at 284 and still in with a good shout with three races remaining; the road will be tougher for Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach, who are separated by only 10 points between them but that puts them 42 to 52 back of Urrutia.
In the third of three Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda races, we saw another sweep occur – Anthony Martin secured his third win as many days for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Teammate Parker Thompson was second with Garth Rickards scoring his first podium of his career in third. Martin now leads Thompson, 347-326, heading to the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in September.
- On the whole, each of the three series saw weekend sweeps. Urrutia (Indy Lights), Martin (USF2000) and Nico Jamin (Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires) all swept their races. So in seven races, there were just three winners.
Urrutia and Jamin made it a clean sweep of Indy Lights and Pro Mazda for Soul Red Mazdas – these two won Pro Mazda and USF2000 titles last year and the Mazda advancement scholarships that went with them. Meanwhile Jamin and Martin combined to provide the Capes a perfect 5-for-5 run in the Pro Mazda and USF2000 ranks; Jamin’s wins were the first races all season in Pro Mazda not by Team Pelfrey.
PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE
Something different happened in Pirelli World Challenge this weekend that hasn’t happened since Barber Motorsports Park, even though the thing that did happen is exactly the same as what happened at Barber Motorsports Park. How does this sentence make sense, you ask? Well, we pontificated going into the weekend that Mid-Ohio has not had a weekend sweep since 2011… every year since has seen one driver win both races. And we also noted that each of the last three World Challenge GT weekends at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park and Road America had one driver win both races. The last time this didn’t happen was at Barber, when Alvaro Parente (Saturday) and Michael Cooper (Sunday) split the wins… so in Mid-Ohio, at a similar, flowy, road course like Barber, Parente (Saturday) and Cooper (Sunday) split the wins. So it ended a three-weekend run of a driver sweeping the weekend for the 2016 season. And it ended a four-year run of a driver sweeping the weekend at Mid-Ohio. And, it was done by the same two drivers. Who knew?
- For Cooper, his GT win came courtesy of a strong start in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R, but after holding off an even stronger start by Road America double winner Ryan Eversley, in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX-GT, who went from eighth to second on the opening lap. Johnny O’Connell made it two Cadillacs on the podium and was a particularly happy camper after the ace. One driver who wasn’t was Parente, a potential podium lost when the driver of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 got balked and forced off course trying to lap Preston Calvert’s No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R. Parente finished an unrepresentative lap down in 14th. Michael Schein and Alec Udell, though, completed – you guessed it – weekend sweeps in GTA and GT Cup, respectively in Porsches.
Pirelli World Challenge runs next at Utah Motorsports Complex Aug. 12-14 while the Mazda Road to Indy has Indy Lights at Watkins Glen Sept. 4 before all three series conclude at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca the following weekend, Sept. 9-11.