Jordan Cane had a successful first weekend after stepping up to the Cooper Tires USF2000 Series powered by Mazda.
Having topped two of the six sessions at the series test at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama the week before, confidence was good for the 14-year-old rookie from Felpham going into his first race weekend of the season in Florida – but it would be his first time on a street circuit in front of a very large crowd in a grid of 27 cars.
Last year was a special year for me but this is stepping up a level and the competition is strong – I didn’t expect a podium in my very first weekend but I’ll take it and it gives me the confidence to try to add more at Barber.Jordan Cane
First practice was splintered with many red flags but despite only a few laps of running, Cane managed to finish the session eighth fastest. Practice two had more running and Cane finished the session fourth fastest.
Qualifying was again disturbed by more red flags and Cane couldn’t get the best from his tyres but managed to qualify in tenth position.
Race one started with a big crash at turn one taking out several cars, but having avoided the carnage Cane would take the restart again in tenth position.
As the green flag dropped Cane got a good run and moved to the inside and having passed three cars and on the inside of two more for fifth place, the car on the outside moved across and contact resulted in Caner’s race ending there.
More safety car sessions resulted in only six minutes of actual racing with the win taken by 20-year-old Australian Jordan Lloyd.
In race two, Cane again started in tenth and this time the start was fairly clean.
In the early laps he went wheel to wheel with his own team-mates, not something you will see very often on a street circuit particularly in the narrowest section of St Petersburg circuit. Eventually Cane dispensed with his team-mates and moved forward before a safety car slowed the charge.
At the restart he found the car that had ended race one for him was now the car in front. As the green flag dropped the cars in front all went to defend the inside but Cane saw this as an opportunity and went around the outside of turn one to make up two more position. Another very late braking into turn ten completed a pass and put him into third position. He closed on second place but yet another
safety car ended the race with Cane third.
The win was taken by 17-year-old Chinese driver Yufeng Luo.
Cane said: “I’m very pleased overall with the weekend considering it was my first street circuit. However I still think it could have been even better had it not been for the incident in race one.
“Last year was a special year for me but this is stepping up a level and the competition is strong – I didn’t expect a podium in my very first weekend but I’ll take it and it gives me the confidence to try to add more at Barber.”
Cane is supported by adidas Motorsports, Goodwood Road & Racing, Twelfth Man and Maui Jim for their support.
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