15 year-old French rookie Latorre showcased skill en route to fourth place finish at Sebring
PALMETTO, FLA. – JAY Motorsports and its talented teenage rookie Florian Latorre showcased their talents during the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season-opening twin bill this past week (March 14-15) in Florida. As part of the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event, the 15 year-old Frenchman earned an impressive fourth place finish in his North American racing debut. While an incident in race two prevented the Florida-based squad from building on this success, both the driver and team have indicated they will be part of the fight for top honors throughout the 2013 campaign, which resumes this coming weekend (March 23-24) on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.
A relative unknown entering the USF2000 Championship season-opener, having only recently signed with JAY Motorsports prior to the six-race pre-season Winterfest championship, Latorre quickly indicated he would be a driver worth watching in Florida. Focused on developing the No. 91 13th Avenue/MASM-Cogny/Accent du Sud Ouest/JAY Motorsports entry and driver feedback (Latorre speaks limited English), the French racer showed good speed in both testing and practice, highlighted by a top-four result in the first test session. JAY Motorsports, which has a history of helping developing young talented racers, further showcased this skill in qualifying, as Latorre earned a row three starting position for Round One via the fifth quickest lap.
When the 31-car USF2000 Championship field rolled on-course a short time later for race one of the season-opening twin bill, confidence was high both in the cockpit and in the JAY Motorsports pit box. Latorre, displaying the skill that earned the teenager the French Formula 4 National Auto Sport Academy Championship Rookie of the Year award last season, not only avoided the expected turn one 'excitement', but battled for a podium position throughout the 12-lap affair. In the end, the JAY Motorsports rookie emerged with a impressive fourth place finish in his Mazda Road to Indy debut.
Given the performance in the opening race at the historic Florida road course, everyone under the team awning was excited to go racing once again on Friday morning. With either each driver's fast lap from race one, or second best lap in qualifying setting the grid for race two, Latorre took the green flag in 11th place. Getting a good launch, the French racer was immediately involved in a multi-car fight for positions. Unfortunately, Latorre's race proved to be a short affair, as while dueling in turn 17 on the opening lap he was forced off-course and into the tire barriers, ending his run prematurely. Despite the disappointing end to the Sebring doubleheader, both Latorre and JAY Motorsports left the event excited about the rest of the 2013 season.
"I was very eager to start the championship," stated Latorre. "The team did a fantastic job that allowed me to get a nice fourth place in the opening race after a successful qualifying run. Unfortunately, the second race only lasted one lap after I was pushed into the wall by another driver while I was about to overtake. I learned a lot this weekend about the car, and about me. I still have work to do to be at the top level. The USF2000 Championship is fantastic, and I am already very excited to be back in action next weekend in St Petersburg, where I will get to do a track walk with Sebastien Bourdais, who has kindly offered me to accompany him."
JAY Motorsports and Latorre are back in action this coming weekend (March 23-24), traveling just down the road to St. Petersburg, Fla., for Rounds Three and Four of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Racing in conjunction with the entire Mazda Road to Indy program as part of the IZOD IndyCar Series season-opener, the chase for top honors commences on Friday (March 22) with a pair of practice sessions. A morning qualifying session and Round Three at 12:15 pm local time follows on day two. The street race doubleheader concludes on Sunday (March 24), with Round Four at 9:30 am local time. Live timing and scoring will be available at www.f2000.com/Multimedia/Live.aspx
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, 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.