Eidson Sweeps USF2000 Opener

Young Colorado racer uses his Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda experience to take a pair of wins in the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Second-year Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda driver Jake Eidson scored a flawless victory for Pabst Racing in the opening round of the season in the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, then followed it with another in the second race.

Eidson, 19, from Littleton, Colo., who finished third in the 2014 title chase, secured the pole for Race One and led throughout the 18-lap, half-hour race that was interrupted by two caution periods.

The St. Petersburg-based Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing team completed the podium in Race One with Birchwood, Wisconsin’s Aaron Telitz finishing second ahead of teammate Nico Jamin, from Rouen, France.

Eidson took control at the start, holding a tight line into Turn 1 to keep Telitz in his wake. Behind, Canadian rookie Parker Thompson (JDC MotorSports), who started ninth, left his braking a little too late and made contact with both Jamin, who had started third, and Australian Jordan Lloyd (John Cummiskey Racing). Lloyd rejoined at the tail of the field, but countryman Luke Gabin (Team Pelfrey) and Germany’s Keyvan Andres Soori (ArmsUp Motorsports) weren’t so fortunate, their days ending immediately after also being involved in the incident which brought out the yellow flags.

After a lengthy cleanup, Eidson continued to run up front, under pressure from Telitz and Aussie Anthony Martin (John Cummiskey Racing), who then braked too deep at Turn 1 and promptly lost third place to the recovering Jamin.

Eidson and Pabst Racing continued their form by leading throughout Race Two and completing a sweep of the opening weekend.

Eidson took full advantage of his pole starting position to lead into the first corner from Telitz and Jamin. Eidson led all 20 laps to take the victory, but was pushed to the limit all of the way by Telitz. The pair of former Team USA Scholarship winners secured the top two positions for the second day running, with Frenchman Jamin once again rounding out the podium in third.

John Cummiskey Racing teammates Lloyd and Martin fought out an entertaining battle for fourth place. Lloyd seemed to have the edge in the early stages; but it was a different story after a restart as Martin remained glued to his countryman’s tail before making a pass in Turn 10 with three laps to go. The move earned Martin, who finished fourth for the second day in a row,  the Replay XD Move of the Race Award.

The  Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will return to action, once again in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series, at NOLA Motorsports Park, just a few miles from downtown New Orleans, La., on April 10-12.