Furuseth ended 2013 season with two runner-up finishes on Texas street circuit
LOYALHANNA, PA. – The 2013 edition of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda ended in near perfect fashion for PRL Racing, as the Pennsylvania-based team stood on the podium twice during the season-finale doubleheader in Houston, Texas. Norwegian up-and-comer Henrik Furuseth further showcased his and the squad's talents on the street circuit, finishing second in both Rounds 13 and 14. With the two runner-up finishes, the Championship class rookie ended the year fourth in the title fight, while PRL Motorsports secured sixth in the team standings.
The goal for PRL Motorsports in its first season of Championship class competition, having run a single-car effort in the National class in 2012, was to continually improve and ultimately challenge for top honors. With reigning National class champion Furuseth behind the wheel, the squad had the driver to do just that.
As expected, the opening stages of the campaign were spent building a bond between Furuseth and his new crew, as well as car and driver development. That being said, the No. 96 Palfinger/Akrene Mek Verksted/PRL Motorsports entry quickly began making its mark, with three top-10 finishes and a front-row start in the opening four races of the highly-competitive Mazda Road to Indy program series.
Furuseth continually found more speed each time the USF2000 cars rolled on-course, with the PRL Motorsports up-and-comer increasingly challenging the front-runners for positions as the season progressed. This was highlighted with top-four results on both the streets of Toronto and at the technical Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Given the results leading up to the season-finale, it should come as no surprise that PRL Motorsports was excited about the inaugural USF2000 Championship visit to the Grand Prix of Houston.
Furuseth, having spent the lone Friday practice run fine-tuning his Truck Nation and MCL Venture LLC-backed racing steed for the bumpy concrete-lined street circuit, made his presence felt in qualifying. Posting the third best lap in the timed session, the 17 year-old positioned himself to challenge for top honors in Texas.
When race one of the twin bill got underway one day later, Furuseth got a clean launch, holding third as the lead trio began building a gap on the rest of the field. With passing zones at a premium, the PRL racer was content to hold station until the closing stages of the 13-lap affair, when he made the most of an opportunity to take over second place. Furuseth never put a wheel wrong from that point forward, posting the fastest race lap en route to the runner-up finish.
"It has been a very good day," said Furuseth. "I had a good start and was able to keep up with the Cape Motorsports’ guys. I saw Neil [Alberico] passing Scott [Hargrove] at the end, and I used the opportunity to pass Scott as well. I am very thrilled with second place today. I love the race track, and I am looking forward to starting on the pole tomorrow. I am going to try to be one step higher on the podium."
Thanks to the quickest lap in Round 13, it was Furuseth who led the USF2000 field to the green flag in Round 14. This proved important, as unlike the opening two days of action in Texas, rain and a wet track greeted the talented racers on Sunday morning. Despite having a clear track ahead, Furuseth did not get the start he desired, with some wheel spin relegating the teenager to fourth early on. The PRL Motorsports racer is not one to give up however, and he promptly charged back, regaining two of the three lost positions within the opening few tours. Holding off some late race pressure from behind, Furuseth secured his second trip to the post-race podium via second place.
"I didn’t have a good start," commented Furuseth. "I spun the tires and fell back to fourth, but I was able to get back up to second. My car was good, but I had nothing for Alex [Baron, the race winner]. I have to thank my team PRL Motorsports for a good car this weekend, and the whole year. I also have to thank Co-Force International, and Truck Nation for being our partner this weekend."
PRL Motorsports ended its inaugural season in the Championship class of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda sixth in the team standings, tops among the single-car squads. Furuseth finished the year fourth in the championship fight.
"We are honored to have Henrik drive for us this season," stated PRL Motorsports team principle Patrick Linn. "Having such an amazing and personable driver under the awning meant a lot. He made it easy to work through the tough times, always remaining positive and helping push the team to better results. It was a great first season in the Championship class, and we can't wait for the start of 2014."
Drivers interested in being part of PRL Motorsports, are encouraged to contact team principal Patrick Linn directly at PatrickRLinn@prlmotorsports.com.
Additional information on PRL Motorsports is available at PRLMotorsports.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ PRLmotorsports and on Facebook @ PRL Motorsports.
Keep up to date with Henrik Furuseth via Twitter @ HenrikFuruseth and on Facebook @ Henrik Furuseth Racing.