Cape Motorsports Targets Mazda Road to Indy Titles in 2018
 March 7, 2018| 
  • Team News
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Team will present championship contenders in USF2000 and Pro Mazda driver line-ups

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Cape Motorsports will be back on-track this coming weekend to kick off the 2018 racing season with a laser focus on the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, beginning with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. The team has won the last seven consecutive titles in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and they will return with the goal of continuing this streak with reigning F4 US Championship title winner Kyle Kirkwood. Last year’s USF2000 champ Oliver Askew has confirmed that he will bring his second Mazda scholarship to Cape Motorsports to tackle the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, which is the second rung of the MRTI. Askew will be joined by three-year MRTI veteran Nikita Lastochkin to present a strong two-car team. The team has won 12 Pro Mazda races over the last three years, and is primed to take a run at their first series championship. Cape’s trio of drivers are equally as motivated to perform for their team.

Off-season testing has been very successful, with Kirkwood topping the USF2000 charts at the official two-day series test at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which was held two weeks ago. The team followed its plan for Pro Mazda testing at Homestead and Barber Motorsports Park and both Askew and Lastochkin are ready to tackle the new season with solid baseline set-ups.

Askew, 21, was one of the brightest lights in the MRTI last year, exploding onto the scene with Cape Motorsports, winning seven USF2000 races enroute to the championship. Cape Motorsports engineered balanced race-winning cars for Oliver all year, as he scored victories in all three of the disciplines on the schedule: road course, street circuit and oval. The young American won at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, Barber Motorsports Park, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Iowa Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Lastochkin, 27, will enter his second season of Pro Mazda racing, having finished fifth in the 2017 championship with eight top-five finishes during the 12-race schedule with Team Pelfrey. Over his three years in the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, Nikita has developed tremendous consistency. The Russian-born Los Angeles resident returns to Cape Motorsports, with whom he raced with in 2016, finishing eighth in the USF2000 program. 

Jupiter, Fla.’s Kirkwood, 19, will begin his Mazda Road to Indy career in USF2000 this weekend, coming off a stellar season in the F4 US Championship, which was highlighted by nine wins and 15 top-10 finishes. Kirkwood has an incredibly successful karting resume and was also selected to Jeremy Shaw’s Team USA Scholarship alongside Askew in 2016, posting top-10 results at both the Formula Ford Festival and the Walter Hayes Trophy.

With the opening race being run this weekend in the team’s hometown of St. Petersburg, expectations are high. Following the event in Florida, Cape Motorsports’ Pro Mazda program will head to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama in late April before reconvening with Kirkwood and the USF2000 crew at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early May for the Grand Prix weekend on the iconic facility’s road course. The team remains in Indy for the "500" weekend, running on the 5/8-mile Lucas Oil Speedway oval in the Saturday evening "Night Before The 500" event.

The summer push takes the teams to the famed Road America at the end of June and then north of the border to the streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The end of July features a trip to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which is a track that Cape Motorsports has dominated over the years in USF2000 and Pro Mazda, having won 12 of the last 15 races held at the challenging track. Askew and Lastochkin will then run their second oval of the year, taking to the 7/8-mile track at Gateway International Speedway, before both the USF2000 and Pro Mazda teams wrap the year at the season finale at Portland International Raceway on the September 1-2 weekend.

Throughout the season, race fans can follow the team’s performances through live streaming video on the Mazda Road to Indy app or www.roadtoindy.tv. Coverage is also available on the IndyCar.com Race Control page.

About Cape Motorsports:
Cape Motorsports campaigns cars in the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The team is the winningest operation in USF2000 history, having won the last seven Driver Championships with pilots like Matthew Brabham, Petri Suvanto, Scott Hargrove, Florian LaTorre, Nico Jamin, Anthony Martin and now, Oliver Askew. They have also won six of the last seven USF2000 Team Championships. The goal of Cape Motorsports is to provide unmatched driver development both on and off the track. It is difficult for a young driver to jump into a professional series and win, regardless of talent. Through coaching and mentoring, Cape Motorsports provides young drivers with as much knowledge of motorsports to become as successful as possible.
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