LEEDS, Ala. — The weather conditions turned decidedly cooler Wednesday at Barber Motorsports Park, perfectly mirroring the demeanor of young Florida racer R.C. Enerson.
The 16-year-old from New Port Richey made a perfect start from pole and controlled the final round of the six-race Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda to secure both the race win and the mini-series spoils for Team E Racing.
“It was a great race today,” Enerson said. “I made a good start and just held my own in the race. To win the championship is just amazing. I want to carry this with me into the season and, hopefully, use this momentum to good effect in St. Pete and try to go for the regular season championship.”
Englishman Michael Epps, who started second, needed to win the race and gain the bonus points for fastest race lap and leading the most laps in order to wrest away the title from Enerson. Epps wasn’t quite able to match his double race-winning form from yesterday — and came up just 0.003 shy of claiming the fastest lap point, which also went the way of Enerson — but still came away with another podium finish and second place in the final points tally.
His efforts also ensured a comfortable team championship victory for Belardi Auto Racing.
Teammate Florian Latorre, from Libourne, France, held third place in the early stages before slipping back to fifth behind former F1600 Championship Series protagonists Aaron Telitz and Jake Eidson.
Once again it was Telitz (ArmsUp Motorsports), from Birchwood, Wis., who came out on top — by just 0.602 of a second on this occasion — to claim a well-deserved maiden podium finish. Fourth place, meanwhile, was enough for Eidson (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing), from Lakewood, Colo., to clinch third place in the Cooper Tires Winterfest.
Clarke Toppe, from The Woodlands, Texas, who scored his first victory at NOLA Motorsports Park last Saturday, posted another fine performance for JDC MotorSports. The 16-year-old lost a place on the opening lap to fall back to 11th, but charged hard thereafter to rise all the way to sixth ahead of teammate Scott Andrews, from Torquay, Victoria, Australia, who also made good progress from ninth on the grid.