French rookie Latorre showcased speed and skill during street race doubleheader
PALMETTO, FLA. – JAY Motorsports' place as a leading driver development team was further strengthened this past weekend (March 23-24) with another strong outing in the highly-competitive Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. With talented rookie Florian Latorre behind the wheel, the Florida-based squad overcame the challenges of street racing to score a top-five and top-10 result during Rounds Three and Four in St. Petersburg, Fla. The stage is now set for further success when the title fight resumes in May as part of the famed Indianapolis 500 weekend.
A little over a week after commencing the 2013 USF2000 Championship campaign with an impressive top-five finish in Sebring, JAY Motorsports traveled just down the road to St. Petersburg to take part in races three and four on the 14-race calendar. While the tight confines of the Florida street circuit presented many new challenges, both the team and its French rookie Latorre were excited to get back on-track.
As planned, the opening two practice sessions were spent getting familiar with the 1.8-mile concrete-lined race course, and developing a setup to suit the conditions and JAY Motorsports' 15 year-old racer. Going ninth and 11th quickest in the two outings, the squad was pleased with the progress made, particularly with regards to the ever-growing communication (Latorre speaks limited English) and chemistry between the driver and crew.
When the lone qualifying run took place on Saturday morning, setting the grid for race one of the doubleheader, spirits were high under the team awning. Latorre promptly improved on his best time to date by nearly half a second in the session, ultimately earning a row five starting position with the 10th fastest lap.
After time to make further changes to the cars and discuss race strategy, the 31-car field rolled back on-course for the start of Round Three. The goal entering the 21-lap affair was simple for Latorre... avoid the expected early race incidents and move forward as the action progressed. Highlighting the skills that secured the French teenager the French Formula 4 National Auto Sport Academy Championship Rookie of the Year award last season, he did just that. Latorre, getting everything he could from his finely tuned JAY Motorsports racing steed, and making the most of any opportunity to pass, in the end scored his second top-five finish in three races with a fifth place finish.
Given the great run in race one of the doubleheader, the entire JAY Motorsports team was excited to see what would happen in race two in St. Petersburg on Sunday morning. That being said, Latorre had work to do, as the slower pace in Round Three meant that he was forced to rely on his second best lap in qualifying to determine his starting position in Round Four. Getting the green in 11th place, the No. 91 13th Avenue/MASM-Cogny/Accent du Sud Ouest/JAY Motorsports racer was immediately involved in a multi-car fight for position. Latorre, dueling lap after lap, ultimately advanced two positions, earning yet another top-10 finish, and more importantly valuable points and experience.
"We are very pleased with our weekend in St. Petersburg," commented JAY Motorsports principal Jay Green. "Our communication between team and driver continues to improve, and we hope to keep the momentum going. Florian is an outstanding young talent, and as he continues to adjust to the car, he will certainly be a factor throughout the 2013 season."
JAY Motorsports and its up-and-coming racer Latorre will now have a break until May 25th, when the lone oval on the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda calendar takes place at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana. As part of the world renowned Indianapolis 500 festivities, Round Five will be part of the famed 'Night Before the 500' event. JAY Motorsports enters the contest with Latorre currently 10th in championship fight.
Drivers interested in joining JAY Motorsports, are encouraged to contact team principal Jay Green.
Additional information on JAY Motorsports can be obtained from the team’s website @ www.jaymotorsports.com. For direct contact, please contact Jay Green @ 304-610-5663 or firstname.lastname@example.org and keep up to date via Twitter @ jaymtrsprt and on Facebook @ JAYMotorsportsLLC.
Learn more about Florian Latorre at www.Florian-Latorre.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ FlorianLATORRE and Facebook @ Florian.LatorrePro.
### About JAY Motorsports: JAY Motorsports, LLC is a family owned and operated racing organization based in Florida. Led by former racer Jay Green, the team became one of the highest rated customer service representatives within the SCCA's spec categories. With countless wins in SCCA Club and Pro competition, the team has become a mainstay in junior driver development over the years. By winning the 2009 and 2012 SCCA Formula Enterprises National Championships, they propelled their drivers to win spots on the prestigious MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Team in 2009 and 2012. In addition to the 2009 and 2012 Runoffs gold medals, JAY Motorsports was the 2006 MARRS Spec Racer Ford champion, 2007 SCCA National Great Lakes Division Spec Racer Ford champion, 2008 SCCA National Great Lakes Division Spec Racer Ford and Formula Enterprises champion, 2008 SCCA Great Lakes/Central Division Formula Car Magazine Formula Enterprises champion, 2008 Carolina Cup Pro Series Spec Racer Ford champion, and 2009 SCCA Southeast Division ECR Spec Racer Ford champion. This past season, JAY Motorsports entered the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda full-time, contesting both the National and Championship classes.