Four-car team ready to extend podium run at Lucas Oil Raceway oval in Indiana
MINNEAPOLIS, MN. – The quest for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda supremacy continues for JDC MotorSports this Saturday (May 25), with Round Five part of the prestigious Night Before the 500 event at Lucas Oil Raceway. Focused on securing its first series win of the 2013 campaign, the multiple junior formula car championship-winning squad from Minnesota will again have a talented group of racers under the awning, with Rookies Stefan Rzadzinski, Clark Toppe, and Arthur Oliveira, as well second-year driver Michael Johnson, ready to showcase their talents in the lone oval race of the season.
One of the highlights of the USF2000 Championship, which is part of the renowned Mazda Road to Indy driver development program, is the opportunity for the drivers and teams to race on a variety of courses. After opening the season at a permanent road course and a temporary street circuit on back-to-back weekends in Florida, the racers will switch gears in race five, doing battle on a banked-oval. While 'circle track' racing certainly presents new challenges, JDC MotorSports and its talented foursome of drivers are excited about the upcoming event at Lucas Oil Raceway, given the squads previous oval endeavors, and how recent official series testing went.
Ahead of returning to the battle for championship honors in Indiana during the Memorial Day weekend, JDC MotorSports and the rest of the USF2000 field took part in two days of testing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and one day of testing at Lucas Oil Raceway.
For JDC MotorSports, the two-day outing in Ohio proved to be very beneficial. While the conditions were less than ideal - intermittent rain showers - the test sessions allowed three of the four JDC racers (Oliveira was not in attendance due to other commitments) to not only shake off the cobwebs of not racing since mid-March, but work with the talented JDC crew to fine tune/develop their racing steeds and driving. This will be particularly valuable when the series returns to the technical undulating road course in early August, as the event will feature three races with crucial late season points up for grabs. Despite data and information being the key focus, the JDC trio showcased good pace, highlighted by Rzadzinski placing the No. 93 CanTorque/ Christenson Developments/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry fifth on final combined speedcharts.
Upon conclusion of testing at Mid-Ohio, the drivers and crew immediately headed to 'the home of motorsports' in the U.S.A... Indianapolis, Ind. First up once there was the annual Mazda Road to Indy Oval Clinic, which featured insight, information, and instruction from leading IndyCar members about the intricacies of oval racing. One day later was the opportunity to put this knowledge to practice via four tests around the 0.686-mile Lucas Oil Raceway. For Rzadzinski and Toppe, pilot of the No. 19 Toppe Motorsports/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports, this meant their first laps on an oval. Given that fact, the plan was simple, get acclimated to the new surroundings and steadily build speed. For Johnson, who drives the No. 54 Universal Coating/ SpeediCath/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/Bell Racing/Alpinestars/JDC MotorSports entry, it meant getting re-familiarized to what it is like to drive the historic short oval, and begin working on a potential race setup, which is vital on a oval. Despite late afternoon incidents that damaged both Johnson's and Rzadzinski’s cars, the test proved a success, highlighted by Rzadzinski posting the fifth best lap.
"The first time I pulled into pit lane at Lucas Oil Raceway last week, all I could say was 'this is too much fun'", stated Rzadzinski. "We had a great day testing and I was learning more about oval driving on each stint. It’s been a while since I’ve been in an environment where everything feels so different and foreign, but I really enjoyed it. I’m confident that the CanTorque/Christenson Developments/JDC Motorsports car is going to be awesome heading there for the Night Before the 500! I also have a feeling the main event might be some of the most enjoyable racing I’ve ever been a part of."
"Learning the oval was a brand new and different experience," commented Toppe. "I'm still learning what I need to do to be fast there. It will be great to see what happens during the race, it should be interesting. I think it's good to have an oval in the series, as it prepares us for races in future series, and throws another challenge at the driver."
"I'm really excited to get going on the oval, and see what I can do!" added Johnson. "I want to get some redemption from last year and run a great race. It is my time to show what I can do."
Given JDC MotorSports has twice had a racer standing on the post-race podium in the previous three USF2000 races at the banked Indiana oval, the stage is now set for another run at top honors by the skilled JDC foursome.
The on-track action at Lucas Oil Raceway gets underway for JDC MotorSports on Friday (May 25), with three Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda test sessions. The Night Before the 500 race day features a pair of afternoon practice runs, prior to single-car qualifying at 4:10 pm local time. Round Five, the lone oval race on the 2013 series calendar, is scheduled to get the green flag at 7:40 pm local time. JDC MotorSports enters the premier event currently fifth in the team standings, while Rzadzinski leads the driver contingent via fifth place in the championship standings. Live timing and scoring will be available at www.f2000.com/Multimedia/Live.aspx
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from www.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 Michael Johnson at MichaelJohnsonRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ Racer54isCool and Facebook @ Michael Johnson Racing.
Learn more about Stefan Rzadzinski at www.RzadRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ RzadRacing and Facebook @ Stefan Rzadzinski.
Learn more about Clark Toppe via Twitter @ ClarkToppe and Facebook @ Clark Toppe Racing.
### 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.