Andrews, Connery, Johnson and Toppe ready to showcase talents in Louisiana and Alabama
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – This coming weekend, JDC MotorSports renews its pursuit of race wins and series titles in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at the opening races of the Cooper Tires Winterfest Series, which are being held at NOLA Motorsports Park, located just outside of New Orleans. American Michael Johnson will be part of the fight in Pro Mazda, while American Clark Toppe and Australian Scott Andrews are set to do battle in USF2000. When the action shifts to Barber Motorsports Park just a few days later (February 25-26), the trio will be joined by American Kyle Connery in a second Pro Mazda entry. Given that the Minnesota-based team is a multi-time Pro Mazda series champion, and a USF2000 race winner, the JDC name is poised to be near the top of the scoring sheets throughout the two events.
Since its inception, JDC MotorSports has focused on helping to train and develop its racers, providing them with all the tools necessary to succeed. Since 2011, that process has included taking part in the USF2000 Championship-run Winterfest Series. Providing a highly competitive environment to prepare for the upcoming full campaign, the ‘off-season’ championship is a great opportunity for drivers and teams to further gel, gain experience, and work out any 'kinks' in their programs. This year, there is the added bonus that Andersen Promotions has included the Pro Mazda Championship to the mix, with both series racing in Louisiana and Alabama. JDC MotorSports, as expected, will use the two events to work on car and driver development, driver/crew communications, gathering information, and building momentum going into the St. Petersburg season-opening event for the two series.
"On the Pro Mazda side of things, the key focus will be on getting seat time and experience. Johnson will be making his Pro Mazda debut, having raced for JDC in the USF2000 Championship over the past two years. Johnson is the lone paralyzed racer within the Mazda Road to Indy program - the result of a dirt-track motorcycle racing accident in 2005. His progression through the ranks has been impressive, and while he has no Pro Mazda race experience, he has tested several times over the past year, running a JDC car out-fitted with specially designed hand controls. Meanwhile, rounding out the JDC Pro Mazda duo, Connery has only two career Pro Mazda starts under his belt, both coming through a single event last season. The young pilot has a winning resume though, having been a title contender in the F2000 Championship Series over the past few years, finishing second overall in 2013 and third in 2011. Both racers are ready display their talents in what are sure to be two exciting events.
"I'm very excited to be back with JDC MotorSports for the Winterfest races at Barber," said Connery. "The guys have been working incredibly hard since the December test, and we are now ready to set the car up for my driving style. Each time we've gone out, we have found a way to improve, and that's a very reassuring sign of things to come. We are still working as hard as we can to finalize our remaining partners for the entire season."
JDC's USF2000 program will feature more experience than its Pro Mazda counterparts. Toppe returns to the cockpit of his JDC MotorSports Van Diemen having contested the entire campaign last season. The goal now for the 16 year-old sophomore is to build on what he learned as a series rookie, becoming a consistent front-runner in 2014. Andrews enters the six-race off-season championship keen to add to his strong late season four-race series debut last year with the team. The Australian is excited about the opportunity to further showcase his talents after making a splash in 2013, a trial program that was highlighted by solid pace and a pair of top-10 finishes.
"I'm very thrilled to get back into the Cooper Tires USF2000 competition for my second year," commented Toppe. "I believe JDC and myself have big things in store for this season. My confidence has definitely been boosted by coming back as a veteran, and I hoping for the best for the team and myself. I'm going to use the Winterfest series as a preview to see what I need to work on, and getting used to the new competitors in the series. I know JDC and I can put together some great results."
"I have been working hard over the off-season to try and get everything in place to have another opportunity to race in the Mazda Road to Indy program with JDC," commented Andrews. "Unfortunately I've never seen the two tracks we're racing at, but hopefully with a bit more car knowledge that I now have, we can be competitive. I'm looking forward to getting on track, and am thankful once again to JDC MotorSports for the opportunity."
The Cooper Tires Winterfest Series event at NOLA Motorsports Park gets underway with a practice run and qualifying session for both series on Friday morning (February 21). Race one of the USF2000 triple bill is slated for 3:15 pm local time, while race one of the Pro Mazda doubleheader is scheduled for 4:15 pm local time. The USF2000 drivers return to action on Saturday (February 22) with Round Two at 10:45 am and Round Three at 3:15 pm. The second Pro Mazda race is at 4:15 pm.
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from RedLineOil.com
Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website 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 Kyle Connery at KyleConnery.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ Kyle Connery and Facebook @ Kyle Connery.
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 @ Clark Toppe 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. Last year, the squad continued its run of Pro Mazda and USF2000 podium finishes, and was third in the Prototype Lites title fight.