MRTI: Thompson Returns Cape Motorsports to the Top With Toronto USF2000 Victory

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Parker Thompson held off all challengers, including teammate Anthony Martin, to win Sunday’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship event in Toronto. (Mazda Road to Indy photo)

Parker Thompson held off all challengers, including teammate Anthony Martin, to win Sunday’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship event on the streets of Toronto. (Mazda Road to Indy photo)

TORONTO – The status quo was restored during Sunday’s Allied Building Products USF2000 Grand Prix of Toronto as Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing returned to prominence.

This time it was Canadian rising star Parker Thompson who had the edge, scoring a narrow victory over Australian teammate Anthony Martin.

Saturday’s winner, Victor Franzoni, maintained his recent strong run of success for ArmsUp Motorsports by claiming his six podium finish in the last seven races.

Martin started from the pole for the second successive day on the demanding Exhibition Place street circuit and managed to retain his position at the start despite intense pain from a wrist injury which stemmed from an incident on Friday and was aggravated when he crashed out of yesterday’s race while running in second place. Sunday’s race, run in perfect weather conditions, was neutralized almost immediately due to an incident in turn one, but not before Franzoni had found himself shuffled back to fourth at the first corner behind Thompson and Jordan Lloyd.

Buoyed by the enthusiasm of a large band of supporters, including many fellow Canadians, Thompson was on a mission at the restart. He took advantage of a slightly slower exit from turn one by race leader Martin, then drafted to the outside prior to the braking area for turn three before cutting across to take the lead. He held off a determined Martin to score the victory.

“Every race that I’ve won this year, I had enough of a lead that I could enjoy coming to the checkered flag and winning the race,” Thompson said. ‘This race, I had Anthony all over me plus lapped traffic so I was pushing as hard as I could. I had a few big moments on the final lap, so crossing the line was such a relief. And I have to say, the grandstands were pretty full and everyone was cheering – that felt great. I really enjoyed the cool down lap, being able to take in the fact that I’d won in Toronto. I have a lead again in the championship but I know how quickly that can change. I went into the last race weekend with a 26-point lead and came out tied, so I know how fast points can come and go. We have five races left so there’s a long way to go. I have to push hard and go for wins and that helps the championship.”

Martin kept the pressure on throughout the 30-minute race, never much more than a few car lengths behind. The pair traded fastest laps numerous times before Martin elected to hang back just a little in the closing stages in order to ensure himself a clear opportunity to gain what could be a crucial bonus point. The Australian seemed to have achieved his aim, setting a new benchmark in three of the final six laps, only to be eclipsed by countryman Lloyd just one lap from the finish.

Franzoni kept in touch with the leaders for most of the race until slipping away in the closing stages. Instead he came under increasing pressure from Afterburner Autosport’s Dakota Dickerson, who continued his recent progress with a season-best fourth-place finish.

Robert Megennis enjoyed another impressive drive for Team Pelfrey, rising from 12th on the grid to fifth.

CREDIT: Andersen Promotions

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