Anthony Martin claims 2016 USF2000 crown

Martin wins USF2000 title. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

MONTEREY, Calif. – Anthony Martin has secured the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda championship, and has become the sixth different driver in succession for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing to claim the series title.

The 21-year-old Australian won seven races this season and finished second today in the 16th and final round of 2016 to secure the title and the Mazda advancement scholarship of $363,000 that goes with it to advance to the next level on the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Martin joins the previous five champions for Cape, who are Nico Jamin (2015), Florian Latorre (2014), Scott Hargrove (2013), Matthew Brabham (2012) and Petri Suvanto (2011).

Martin opened the day with an 18-point lead over teammate Parker Thompson and ended it with an 21-point margin, unofficially (394-373), to secure the crown. Martin won seven races to Thompson’s four this season.

Up front, Victor Franzoni won his third race of the season and second this weekend, at the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Monterey Powered by Mazda, to complete a weekend sweep for ArmsUp Motorsports.

Franzoni got out to a 2.2865-second lead on the opening lap of the race while the Cape twins battled behind them, and set sail from there to a final winning margin of 10.1026  seconds.

Thompson got Martin for second off the line, before Martin made an ambitious, determined move by Thompson to the inside at Rainey Corner, Turn 9, to get him back for second, where he stayed.

The order stabilized right there with Franzoni drawing away, Martin holding station in second and Thompson in third. Thompson stayed close to Martin’s rear wing but unlike on Saturday, he was unable to make it past his teammate for position.

As on Saturday, Martin’s countrymen Jordan Lloyd and Luke Gabin completed the top five, albeit in a different order. Lloyd gained a spot from yesterday to today to end fourth for Pabst Racing, while Gabin brought his JAY Motorsports car home in fifth. Nikita Lastochkin was sixth in the third Cape car.

Of note, Robert Megennis made a late-race pass of Yufeng Luo for seventh, a spin dropped Pabst’s Garth Rickards back in the field, and John Cummiskey Racing’s Michael Scott finished his first series race.