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Peninsula Pipeline Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
Streets of St. Petersburg
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October 18, 2012
LOS GATOS, CALIF. – Neil Alberico returned to the cockpit of a FF racer this past weekend (October 13-14), helping Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing capture the F1600 Formula F Championship Series title at Watkins Glen International. The highly-regarded Californian was in fine form as a last minute replacement driver, scoring two third-place finishes and setting new series lap record in the season-finale doubleheader.
Given Alberico had spent the 2011 season racing in the Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and finished third in the world renowned 40th Formula Ford Festival, he quickly agreed to put back on his racing helmet and join Cape Motorsports in upstate New York for the title-deciding Rounds 11 and 12.
Alberico continued his run of form one day later, starting things off by turning the fifth best lap in the morning qualifying session, securing a Row Three starting position for Race One of the doubleheader. Come race time in the late afternoon, the former Bondurant Championship Race Series champion further upped his performance engaging in a spirited dice for a place on the podium, that eventually resulted in both a third-place result and a new series lap record (1:57.693) around the fast 3.4-mile road course.
Returning to the cockpit of his No. 9 racing steed on Sunday, Alberico was keen to once again lead Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor back on to the post-race podium. The 20 year-old Californian got the ball rolling in the final qualifying session of the year, posting the third best time. While the subsequent 10-lap finale, which featured an early race caution period for a multi-car accident, featured some very entertaining dicing among the lead pack that included Alberico and both title combatants, Alberico ultimately took the checkered flag in the same position he started, giving the up-and-comer a pair of top-three's in his series debut. More importantly, Koykka's fourth-place finish right behind Alberico was enough to give the Finnish racer the championship title for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.
A native of Los Gatos, Calif., Alberico first started racing karts at the age of 10, competing in IKF region 11 action. Over the course of four seasons (2004-07), the young talent captured the Junior Sportsman, Junior Super Sportsman, and Junior Puma championship titles. In 2008, Alberico first got behind the wheel of a race car, graduating from the Skip Barber 2-day Advanced school at Laguna Seca prior to participating in the Formula BMW recruitment day at Miller Motorsports Park. Continuing to race in the karting ranks while raising funds to pursue a career in motorsports, Alberico won the Snap-On Stars of Karting Series National finale in Las Vegas in 2009, before finishing third in CKI National TAG Senior championship. Alberico built on this success in 2010, winning the TaG Senior class in the WSK North American Series, as well as the Bondurant Championship Race Series, capturing 10 wins in first full season of car competition. As part of the prize package for winning the Bondurant Championship, the teenager tested a Pro Formula Mazda with World Speed Motorsports and a Formula Atlantic Swift 016.a with Finlay Motorsports. In 2011, Alberico made his European racing debut, competing in the world-renowned Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain with Irish-based Cliff Dempsey Racing. Finish ninth in his maiden FF season, the Californian earned a Team USA Scholarships. As a Team USA driver, he captured a Semi-Final win and finished third in the historic 40th Formula Ford Festival. Alberico joined the Mazda Road to Indy program in 2012, driving for JDC MotorSports in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Category: Series News
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