Series points leader Petri Suvanto increased his lead in the championship this afternoon with a dominant drive to win Race 1 of the Allied Building Products USF2000 National Championship Races at Mid-Ohio. The 18-year-old from Nurmo, Finland, qualified his #3 Viseko Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing Van Diemen-Mazda on the pole and was never seriously threatened during the 20-lap, 30-minute race. Suvanto's eventual margin of victory was 6.972sec.
“It was good start from the beginning of the weekend as we have been one of the quickest cars," said Suvanto. "Going into the first race today, I would say I was a bit nervous but after a few laps I started to get a gap from Wayne [Boyd]. That gave me the confidence to start to roll and everything else went well after that. The points we gained today makes me feel more calm now that I know I have a bit more of a cushion over the other guys. We have good momentum. The team has been doing a great job and I am looking forward to the next race tomorrow and trying to win again. That's the best way to win a championship, to go to each race and try to win.”
Outside front row qualifier Wayne Boyd, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, gave chase in the #4 TheAppBuilder Belardi Auto Racing entry but could never quite get on terms with the championship leader and had to settle for second place. Spencer Pigot, from Windermere, Fla., finished third in the #8 Team MAZDASPEED/Skip Barber entry for Andretti Autosport.
Timmy Megenbier, 17, of Chicago, Ill., captured his best result of the season in the #17 Sick Tea/Rahal Foods/Caputo/Wiscon Corp entry for Sick Tea Motorsports with an impressive fourth-place drive after starting sixth.
Zach Veach, 16, of Stockdale, Ohio, rounded out the top five in the Championship class. Veach fell from fourth to six at the start in the #7 Team Zakosi Data Backup entry and found himself in a three-car battle for fifth with Brian Stewart Racing's Matthew Di Leo (#33 Res Precast) and Juan Piedrahita of JDC MotorSports (#19 Petrosur/GFK Motors/Montopharma/ Colombia es pasion/Red Line Oil) before securing the position.
The National class featured a great battle between Jonathan Scarallo (#29 GroupAWheels.com/ Vredestein Tires/TreoBenny.com/Race Optics Cameras for AcceleRace Motorsports), Luca Forgeois (#5 Café Noir for Pabst Racing Services) and series newcomer Joe Colasacco (#11 Auriana Racing entry) with Colasacco taking his first USF2000 win.
Contingency awards include the Tilton Hard Charger Award for the driver who gains the most positions which went to Timmy Megenbier. The PFC Award for the winning car owners was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing and Auriana Racing in the National class. The Staubli Award, a random finisher award, was issued to Juan Piedrahita.
Tomorrow's second round of the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda will take place at 12:45 p.m. ET.