Scott Anderson is the man on form in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. After securing his first victory a couple of weeks ago at Mid-Ohio, and following up with a pair of podium finishes in Friday's doubleheader, both of which were won by Matthew Brabham, the reigning Skip Barber National champion bounced back with another fine win this morning to cap off a triple-header race weekend for the open-wheel development series, the first rung on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.
Anderson started from the pole under a clear blue sky and managed to hold off the 28-car field into Turn 1, whereupon early season pace-setter Spencer Pigot made a fine move to the inside on the exit and was able to assume the lead for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing under braking for Turn 3. Pigot's teammate, Matthew Brabham, whose two victories on Friday moved him into the series points lead ahead of Pigot, also made a move past Anderson as the top three looked to break away from Matthew Di Leo (#56 Res Precast/MDL Racing), Shelby Blackstock (#8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport), Neil Alberico (#19 Kartel Motorsports/Bondurant School/RaceLite Protection/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports), Luigi Biangardi (#15 Inject-It/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Karting/ArmsUp Motorsports) and the rest, led by JDC's Scott Hargrove (#38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Skip Barber Racing School/Red Line Oil).
The action among the leaders was hot and heavy for the first three laps as places changed on a regular basis around the fast, 4.048-mile road course. Finally, on lap 3, Anderson used the draft to perfection along the long front straightaway and was able to wrest away the advantage from Pigot, who promptly lost another place to Brabham.
Anderson was able to establish a clear advantage as the two Cape Motorsports teammates battled among themselves for the next few laps before Pigot managed to edge away from Brabham. The 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., set the fastest lap of the race as he chased after Anderson but couldn't quite get close enough to make a real challenge.
Anderson, from Fort Collins, Colo., took the checked flag 1.689sec clear of Pigot, with Brabham settling back into a comfortable third ahead of Blackstock, who claimed his career-best finish of fourth, Di Leo and Alberico. Biangardi couldn't quite match their pace but held onto seventh ahead of Trent Hindman (#3 Premier Woodcraft/Zydro+/DFL Construction/RaceLite Protection/Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) and Hargrove.
“We came into this weekend with our success at Mid-Ohio and the team had a lot of confidence, said Anderson. "We used that to show some pretty good results and cover each step on the podium. Everyone has done an awesome job and I think now that we have a place up here, I will look forward to some more podiums the rest of the year.”
The top 10 was completed by Michael Johnson (#54 SpeediCath/Coloplast/Universal Coating/ Alpinestars/FlatOutNation.com/Red Line Oil/Movement Arts Motorsport Marketing/JDC Motorsports), who posted a remarkable drive from the back of the field. Johnson, from Flint, Mich., who is paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle racing accident eight years ago, started last after being involved in an incident on the first lap yesterday afternoon, but steadily worked his way forward to claim a career-best 10th-place finish.
Another fine start by Norwegian teenager Henrik Furuseth (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) took him into the lead of the National Class for the second day running, where he remained for the duration of the 12-lap race which, like yesterday afternoon, was run under all-green conditions. RC Enerson (#10 Patriot Bank/ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing) finished second to maintain his championship lead.
Brabham still leads the Championship Class standings by a 14-point margin over Pigot, 248-234, with Anderson now firmly ensconced in third at 198 points.
The USF2000 series will be back in action on the streets of Baltimore, Md., in two weeks' time for another pair of races which will be held in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American Le Mans Series.