JDC Motorsports Expands Roster to Three for Houston
 June 27, 2014| 
  • Team News
Texan Clark Toppe slated to make Pro Mazda debut with team at Reliant Park

LAKEVILLE, MINN. – Throughout this year’s season of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, JDC MotorSports has been focused on driver development with three very talented rookie competitors running their trademark black and blue race cars. Michael Johnson, Ryan Booth and Kyle Connery have carried the JDC banner proudly in the hard-fought championship and they have enjoyed significant development in both pace and competitiveness. Connery is currently on the DL following ankle surgery and will return later this summer, but the remaining duo will be joined by an existing JDC pilot at the series’ next stop in Texas this coming weekend, as the team’s USF2000 pilot Clark Toppe will make his Pro Mazda debut at the Grand Prix of Houston. The series’ eighth and ninth races will be run in Reliant Park on a temporary circuit that will provide a level playing field.  Johnson and Toppe competed on the track in the USF2000 series last year, while Booth will be making his first start on the challenging concrete wall lined circuit.

Johnson continues to attract significant media attention with his inspiring goal to make it to the Indianapolis 500 as the first paraplegic driver to compete in the event. A motocross accident at the age of 16 may have left him paralyzed from the chest down, but an unparalleled dedication and passion to motorsports has placed him on an exciting journey.  Johnson had his first opportunity to sample the Indy asphalt when he raced in the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis road course race back in May, where the Flint, MI driver scored a pair of top-15 finishes while working to sort out minor issues with his electronic shifting mechanism.  Two weeks later, he competed at nearby Lucas Oil Raceway in the annual the ‘Night Before the 500 race’ on the 5/8-mile banked oval. Johnson ran well at the first of the season’s two oval races, earning an 11th place finish. Following these events, both Johnson and Booth took part in an official series test at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, prepping for a trip to the legendary track in early August.

“I'm really excited to get back on the streets of Houston,” previewed Johnson, who scored a pair of top-12 finishes in the USF2000 events at the Grand Prix of Houston last fall. “Last year, I learned a lot on how to master the bumps and the rain at the track, which is fun and unique. I'm ready to master it in the Pro Mazda car now as well!”

Booth heads to Houston to make his debut at the event, and he does so with a great deal of confidence and momentum.  The Charlotte, NC driver had his best showing of the year at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, although the official results don’t really show it.  Booth was incredibly fast on the IMS road course and challenged for the lead in the opening race.  Unfortunate contact put him down the order and deep in the field for Race #2, but he rose to the occasion and stormed back to take a sixth place result.  At the ‘Night Before The 500’, he gained tremendous oval experience and posted a 10th place result to move him to ninth in the overall Pro Mazda Championship standings.  The Mid-Ohio test went extremely well, as Booth topped the time sheets during one of the five on-track sessions, again showing the upward trend of his development.  This all bodes well for this weekend’s run in Houston.

“I am really excited about Houston,” Booth enthused. “I think we've made improvements over the year and can bring the progressive flow into this race. I've never been to this track and it's my second street circuit ever. I had an absolute blast at St. Pete and I am really looking forward to the first practice to drive the track. Our Mid-Ohio test went really well a couple of weeks ago and I'm really hoping we can go for a podium this weekend.”

Unlike Johnson and Booth, Toppe will have a much different focus for this weekend as he makes his Pro Mazda debut.  Clark is the youngest driver in the JDC MotorSports stable as its sole USF2000 driver this year, and he has run well in the two-liter races in 2014, recording three top-five finishes and a season-high fourth place finish at the second races of the Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Toppe’s string of strong races puts him in seventh in USF2000 driver standings.   The weekend will be focused on providing Toppe with some very important Pro Mazda seat time ahead of a potential full program in 2015.  As a resident of The Woodlands, Texas, which is just 30 minutes north of Houston, Toppe will be running in front of friends, family and local supports as he makes the jump from USF2000 to Pro Mazda at a track on which he participated last fall.  In the 2013 edition of the race, Clark recorded a pair of 11th place finishes in USF2000, which should give him a baseline of track knowledge.  Toppe will work with his JDC teammates and JDC engineers as he negotiates his way around the 10-turn 1.7 mile-long street circuit in downtown Houston.

Additional information on JDC MotorSports can be obtained from the team’s website @ jdcmotorsport.com. For direct contact, please contact John Church @ 952-233-3075. JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from RedLineOil.com and HR-Sportswear.
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