Scott Hargrove could have almost coasted through both races on the Reliant Park circuit in Houston this weekend and still claimed the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda title, but instead finished on the podium on Saturday to clinch. Although series runner-up Neil Alberico won Saturday’s Round 13, it wasn’t enough to keep Hargrove from starting Sunday’s race as champion.
It was just as well, because Hargrove’s race on Sunday ended after only three laps while Alexandre Baron won the race. Henrik Furuseth finished second both days, and Alberico completed the podium on Sunday.
Hargrove’s championship also sealed the team championship for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. Scott Rettich claimed the National Class title.
Hargrove will receive a scholarship package from Mazda valued at more than $383,000 to compete in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires in 2014.
In the Pro Mazda Championship, Matthew Brabham put an exclamation point on his championship by winning both races in Houston, for a total of 13 victories in 2013.
The SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup was scheduled to race at Houston as well, but a last-lap crash in Sunday’s IZOD IndyCar Series race that sent Dario Franchitti into the catchfence caused enough damage to the fence that the promoter cancelled the final two races, one of which was MX-5 Cup. Christian Szymczak had captured the pole for the cancelled race.
The MX-5 Cup’s final races are scheduled for Oct. 16-18 at Road Atlanta as part of the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda.