Weir Brings Home Top Ten, Christie Finishes Season Strong
Lexington, Ohio (October 4, 2021) – Josh Green claimed his first Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship win yesterday in an outstanding drive to the front at the Mid-Ohio season finale. The victory was not only the maiden win for Green, but also the first win for Turn 3 Motorsport in their rookie season in the USF2000 series.
The day started under wet conditions with qualifying being red flagged after only two laps and several incidents – one of those involving Green being taken out by another driver – leading the starting grid for Race 2 to be set by the second fastest lap times from Saturday’s qualifying.
The team hustled to repair the damage to the #33 JHG/Mark Green car and rolled out just in time for the start of the race. As the green flag fell for a slippery start, Green catapulted from sixth to first in Turn 1, locking in the lead on the exit of Turn 2. Not long after, the first of several yellow flags came out with a restart happening on Lap 5. Green got a great restart and began distancing himself from the rest of the field. A couple more restarts followed with the 18-year-old holding his position every time and leading 14 of 15 total laps to sweep the victory.
“It was a fairytale weekend at Mid-Ohio,” said Josh Green. “We couldn’t end the season on a better note with a win in each category, and I couldn’t be happier for the team. Every single person worked so hard, and it’s been awesome to see how far we’ve come, finishing every race in the last two events in the top five and ending off with a win! It’s been an amazing season, and I can’t wait to be back in the paddock after this short off-season.”
In addition to his win on Sunday, Saturday’s Race 1 produced a fourth place finish for Green, giving him a top five finish in every race of the final two rounds of the USF2000 season. In addition, Green ended up fifth overall in the driver’s championship with a total of 280 points, eight top five finishes, and one win.
“I’m delighted for Josh to get his first win in USF2000,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “His hard work, dedication, and trust in our program really paid off for him in the final five races of the season. He drove an excellent, controlled race in extremely tricky conditions on one of the hardest tracks on our calendar, and I’m very proud of what he accomplished. I’m also extremely proud of the team for the work they did to give Josh the tools to win his first race and get to fifth in the championship.”
Rookie Christian Weir qualified P12 for Race 1 with his eyes set on a top ten result in the first of two 20-lap contests. Weir had a good start followed shortly by a yellow flag, setting the 15-year-old up for a restart on Lap 3. The restart saw Weir slide up to P11 with his focus forward on passing the next car. An incident further up in the field on Lap 11 opened the door for Weir to improve two more positions, earning him ninth in Race 1, his third top ten finish in a row.
With Qualifying 2 being rained out, Weir was placed P13 for the start of Sunday’s Race 2 which occurred under wet conditions. Determined to finish out the season with his best result, Weir soared up to P9 by the end of Lap 1. After a couple of yellow flags, Weir improved to P7 on the second restart and was on track to achieve his first career podium. Unfortunately, that momentum was halted when a crash ahead of Weir on Lap 13 left him with nowhere to go, entangling him in the pack and ending his race two laps too early.
Weir was also awarded the AiM Move of the Year Award and a $1,000 prize at last night’s Championship Celebration for his impressive passing of five cars on the last lap of Race 2 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
“This weekend was the perfect way to end the season,” said Christian Weir. “With the team getting a win in both of the final rounds of the Indy Pro 2000 series and USF2000 series, there is a lot of momentum going into next year. My weekend was great as well with getting my first ever rain racing experience. I can now say I have been able to experience all of the different weather conditions that you can get while driving, so going into next year there is far less that can catch me off guard. Overall, it was a great weekend for the whole team, and I’m hoping this can translate into next year!”
“Christian did a phenomenal job over the weekend,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “Although his results on paper don’t quite show his true pace, he showed he is certainly a talent for the future. We are looking forward to developing him more throughout the off-season in preparation for his 2022 season.”
After a good morning practice session on Saturday, teammate Dylan Christie qualified P13 for USF2000 Race 1. The race wasn’t long underway before a caution came out, setting the field up for a restart on Lap 3. Christie held onto his position until another yellow flag on Lap 11 paved the way for him to improve up to P12, just shy of getting a top ten result.
Rainy weather on Sunday resulted in a cancelled qualifying session and a wet start to Race 2. After starting P12, Christie battled his way up to tenth in the opening lap and set to work on progressing further. Around the halfway point, an aggressive move resulted in contact and damage to Christie’s front wing, sending him into the pits for repairs. Soon after getting back out, another yellow flag occurred, preventing Christie from getting a chance to regain positions and ending in a 14th place finish.
“It was a great season, and I am grateful for all the hard work put in by Turn 3 Motorsport,” said Dylan Christie. “We worked through difficult conditions this weekend and made the best of what we had. We have grown a lot over the course of the season, and this year was definitely a success for us.”
“It’s been a pleasure to have Dylan with us in both his and our rookie season in the USF2000 series,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “He has really grown as a person and as a driver during the year. Although he didn’t quite reach the results he had hoped for in his rookie season, I believe he will be a contender for podiums in 2022.”
“I want to say a special thanks to all of the crew members that worked with us this year,” continued Dempsey. “None of our success would have been possible without each individual playing their part. I’m grateful to have assembled the team we have, and I’m looking forward to building on that next season.”
The next official event on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires is the Chris Griffis Memorial Test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course October 30-31. The official series test will serve as an opportunity to prepare drivers for the 2022 racing season.