Toppe and Johnson record season high finishes during finale doubleheader
Minneapolis, MN – JDC Motorsports and its line-up of three young drivers took part in the series-finale of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda on October 5-6. The 2013 season came to a close with Rounds 13 and 14 taking place on the downtown streets around Reliant Park in Houston, Texas. Local racer, Clark Toppe led the Minnesota-based team, as he recorded his best finishes of the season with two 11th-place finishes. Not to be out done, Michael Johnson, who has made history already by being the only paralyzed racer in the Mazda Road to Indy program, also recorded his highest finishes of the season, with two 12th-place finishes. Australian pilot Scott Andrews had a difficult outing in only his second USF2000 event, as he was unable to garner the results desired after running near the front in both races.
The final two rounds of the season took place around the Reliant Park area of Houston. The 1.7-mile, 10-turn course, challenging the drivers with ever-evolving grip levels.
Johnson climbed into the seat of his No.54 Universal Coating/SpeediCath/ FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/Bell Racing/Alpinestarts/ JDC MotorSports for Round 13, having qualified 16th. Immediately getting to work, Johnson drove from 16th all the way up to a season-best 12th in the opening affair. Round 14 on Sunday witnessed Johnson starting two spots farther back in 18th. Getting the green deeper in the field was not Johnson's only challenge, as the finale took place under wet conditions. For the second time on the weekend, Johnson worked his way forward in the race, ultimately securing a second 12th-place finish. Thanks to his best finishes of the season in Houston, Johnson finished the 2013 season 19th in the final points tally.
Toppe, hailing from nearby The Woodlands, Texas, wheeled his No. 19 Toppe Motorsports/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports car in front of a hometown crowd of family and friends during the doubleheader. Toppe ran 19th quickest in qualifying, placing him on row 10 for the first race of the twin bill. Toppe put his racecraft skill on display in Round 13, as he drove all the way up to 11th by the time the checkers flew. Toppe again started P19 in race two, and just as in race one, he put his head down and drove forward once the green flags waved. In another fine run, Toppe again worked his way up to 11th, matching his best finish of the season. Toppe ended the year right behind his teammate Johnson in the final points, coming home in 20th.
"Houston was a good event to end the season on," added Toppe. "Through the practice and qualifying I struggled a little, but the package that I had for the race allowed for me to advance eight positions in both races, finishing 11th both days. I want to thank my parents, JDC MotorSports, and Phil Lombardi of JJRD for their continued support throughout this great rookie season."
Andrews arrived in Texas ready to take part in the second USF2000 event of his career. Piloting the No. 93 Andrews Automotive/AMSF/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, Andrews started the final weekend off showing good speed, as he ran inside the top-10 in practice, before qualifying an impressive sixth. Andrews got a great start in Round 13, running solidly inside the top-10 early on. Nearing the halfway point of the race, another driver made contact with Andrews, ending his race in an unrepresentative 22nd. Returning to the cockpit one day later in less than ideal wet conditions, the Australian lined-up in 14th for race two in Texas. Andrews, despite starting from the seventh row, was moving up through the field as Round 14 progressed. Unfortunately, on lap nine he went down an escape road, hitting another car. Unable to continue, he was classified in 17th.
"I'm pleased with the effort and results we had for my first street race, even though they don't show on paper," stated Andrews. "All weekend I was a few laps behind the competitors, and every lap I was getting more confident with the track. I have to thank everyone at JDC MotorSports. It's a great operation, and I look forward to hopefully coming back next year and fighting for the championship."
The Minnesota-based team led by John Church finished the 2013 season ninth in the team standings, having once again helped advance the careers and learning curve of multiple talented young drivers.
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from RedLineOil.com.
Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website @ www.jdcmotorsport.com. For direct contact, please contact John Church @ 952-233-3075.
Learn more about Scott Andrews at AndrewsMotorsport.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ ScottAndrews44 and Facebook @ Scott Andrews.
Learn more about Michael Johnson at MichaelJohnsonRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ Racer54isCool and Facebook @ Michael Johnson Racing. Videos also available on YouTube @ Michael Johnson Racing.
Learn more about Clark Toppe at ClarkToppeRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ ClarkToppe and Facebook @ Clark Toppe Racing. Videos also available on YouTube @ Clark Toppe.
### About JDC MotorSports:
Involved in formula car racing since its inception in 1994, JDC MotorSports has established itself as one of the leading junior open-wheel teams in North America. Initially making its mark in the F2000 class of club racing competition, JDC MotorSports was soon a team worth watching in the pro ranks. Competing in the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship, the team not only won races, but also helped develop multiple young drivers. In 2005, JDC MotorSports expanded its efforts, entering the Star Mazda Championship. Quickly becoming one of the top teams in the series, JDC captured both the driver and team titles in 2007, as well as Rookie of the Year honors, with Dane Cameron scoring a series-high three wins. In 2008, JDC MotorSports was the runner-up in the Star Mazda Championship and finished fourth in its inaugural season of F2000 Championship Series competition. The Minnesota-based team won the Star Mazda Championship title with Rookie of the Year Adam Christodoulou, and the F2000 Championship Series title with Chris Miller in 2009. The following year, JDC continued its winning ways, earning the Rookie of the Year award in the Star Mazda Championship with Connor De Phillippi, and scoring a non-points win in the USF2000 National Championship. In 2011, the Minneapolis-based squad captured its third Star Mazda Championship title with Tristan Vautier, scored a win in the USF2000 National Championship, and made its Prototype Lites Championship debut, earning five podium finishes. JDC MotorSports added to its Star Mazda Championship win tally, USF2000 Championship podium total, and finished as the Prototype Lites Championship runner-up in 2012.