It’s always exciting when a new venue is added to the schedule as it creates uncertainty out on the track. What team/driver will adapt to the track the quickest, where can passes be made, what are the treacherous parts of the track, etc? Here’s a funny story you may not know. A couple years ago, MRTI was testing at NOLA and a driver lost control and went off track into the grass. The driver was able to drive back to the pits to have the car checked out. As you may know, this part of Louisiana is swampy and below sea level. As the crew checked the car over, they found a fish in the tub of the car. Let’s hope nothing fishy happens this weekend haha!!
In the Cooper Tires USF2000, the first weekend was dominated by three drivers: Jake Eidson, Aaron Telitz and Nico
Jamin. They finished 1,2,3 for both races. Aaron and Nico drive for Cape Motorsports while Jake drives for Pabst Racing. Was it a fluke they dominated both races at St. Pete? We will find out this weekend if they are the cream of the crop in this series. One driver to keep an eye on is Victor Franzoni of Afterburner Autosport. He had a mechanical issue in race 2 after starting 6th. In race 1 he started 17th and finished 6th. If Victor can qualify well, he has the talent to mix it up with the top 3 and make things interesting. I’m also curious to see how Garth Rickards ankle is. He had a bad crash in race 2 and posted pics of being in a wheelchair with the ankle taped. The diagnosis was contused bones and achilles. He crashed due to a rookie mistake by another driver.
In the Pro Mazda Championship, Neil Alberico won the first two races in St. Pete. Santiago Urrutia is second while Jose Gutierrez is third in the standings. Neil has a 20 point lead at the moment. A couple of drivers that had issues last week that I expect to rebound are Daniel Burkett who sits 4th in the championship, Florian Latorre and Garrett Grist. To be honest, any driver in this series has the opportunity to win as it is loaded with talent.
Indy Lights is off until the Streets of Long Beach. I would encourage you to get the free MRTI app on your phone. You won’t miss a beat on these young guns if you have it. Let’s hope the people of New Orleans embrace this race and see a great show in the process. I want to hear your picks in these two series. Tweet me: @Open_Wheels or @davidindycar