Toppe starts 2014 season with fifth-place finish
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. – JDC MotorSports' 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda campaign is off to a solid points scoring start, following a top-five effort on the Streets of St. Petersburg. Second-year racer Clark Toppe showcased pace and racecraft in the season-opening twin bill, ultimately coming home with a fifth-place effort in Race Two.
With a USF2000 win on his resume via the off-season Cooper Tires Winterfest championship, Toppe entered the first two rounds of the 2014 USF2000 Championship in Florida ready to be part of the title fight. He promptly solidified those intentions in the opening two practice runs around the concrete-lined street circuit, posting the third best time in both sessions.
Given the early success, the stage was now set for a strong qualifying run. Things, however, did not go as planned. Just missing on an ideal car set-up, combined with traffic on-course, Toppe was unable to get the desired fast lap in his No. 97 Toppe Motorsports/Red Line Oil/HR-Sportswear racer as the Texas native was classified 12th quickest.
Returning to the cockpit several hours later, following some severe weather in the area, Toppe and the rest of the USF2000 field were greeted with tricky wet track conditions. Upon getting the green flag, the JDC MotorSports racer was engaged in a spirited dice for position. Toppe, showcasing his ever-developing racecraft skills, was en route to a solid top-10 effort, until a late race spin ultimately classified the 16-year-old in 15th.
Toppe, despite not garnering the result desired in the opening affair, remained confident entering race two one day later under sunny skies. That belief was well placed, as immediately upon getting the green flag, the JDC racer began moving forward. Making the most of every opportunity, Toppe advanced up the scoring charts, crossing the line in a well-deserved and hard-fought fifth place.
"St.Pete proved once again that we have the speed to be up front this year in the USF2000 Championship," stated Toppe. "I struggled a little bit on Saturday, but we still ended on a positive note Sunday with a fifth-place finish, and on pace with the fastest race lap. I'm currently seventh in points, which is a good platform to build on. I will be very prepared to have good showings at Barber and the rest of the season. Thank you to JDC MotorSports and JJRD."
Toppe and JDC MotorSports' quest for Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda race wins and potentially a series title continues on April 26-27, with two races at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama. Highlights from the USF2000 Championship doubleheader on the Streets of St. Petersburg will be air on NBC Sports on May 24 from 1:30am to 2:30 am ET.
JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from RedLineOil.com and HR-Sportswear.
Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website at jdcmotorsport.com. For direct contact, please contact John Church at 952-233-3075.
Learn more about Clark Toppe at ClarkToppeRacing.com and keep up to date via Twitter @ ClarkToppe
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.