Alberico Sweeps Up At Sebring

Neil Alberico swept the first three rounds of the Cooper Tires Winterfest at Sebring Int'l Raceway.
Neil Alberico swept the first three rounds of the Cooper Tires Winterfest at Sebring Int’l Raceway.

SEBRING, Fla. — Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing driver Neil Alberico put an exclamation mark on his start to the 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season.

The 20-year-old driver from Los Gatos, Calif., was a mark of consistency and made a clean sweep of all three rounds of Cooper Tires Winterfest competition at Sebring Int’l Raceway. Alberico, who also started on pole for each race, heads to the final three rounds of Winterfest competition at Palm Beach Int’l Raceway with a 21-point advantage over teammate Scott Hargrove.

Hargrove, who finished second in each round, narrowed the gap to Alberico significantly in race three and also bettered Alberico’s fastest race lap, but a small mistake cost him a shot for the top spot on the podium. The Vancouver, BC, Canada native is looking forward to resuming the chase in three days’ time.

Garett Grist, 17, of Andretti Autosport finished third in the final 12-lap race around the 3.74-mile road course. The rookie from Grimsby, Ontario, who finished fourth in race two earlier in the day also managed to dethrone Alberico on best lap times by posting the quickest lap of the race.

Race two saw an all Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing podium with James Fletcher securing his first USF2000 top-three result. The 18-year-old from Surrey, England, retired from race one, but rebounded and also added a fourth-place result in race three.

Other drivers to roll out with impressive runs include Jesse Lazare of Pabst Racing Services. Lazare, 15, of Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, showed steady improvement finishing sixth in race two and fifth in race three on the heels of a seventh-place run in race one. Jake Eidson, 17, of Littleton, Colo., posted another sixth-place drive in race three to match his race one result with Afterburner Autosport. Stefan Rzadzinski, 20, of JDC MotorSports brought home a trio of top-10 results over the two days with the Edmonton, Alberta native posting his best result of fourth in race one. Belardi Auto Racing’s Peter Portante was also a consistent top-10 driver, claiming his best result of seventh in race three.

ArmsUp Motorsports driver James Dayson, from Vancouver. B.C., Canada took home the National Class Presented by SCCA Enterprises honors in race two but was sidelined by a mechanical issue in race three.