Christian Weir Shines in Second Ever USF2000 Weekend, Dylan Christie Draws Solid Results
Millville, N.J. (August 30, 2021) – Turn 3 Motorsport scored their first USF2000 podium at this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix after earning a long sought after second place finish with driver Josh Green. The sophomore driver had an excellent penultimate round at New Jersey Motorsports Park with the fastest overall time in pre-event testing and top four finishes in all three races.
Green started fourth for Race 1 on Saturday, and after a clean start, locked into that position where he remained throughout the 20 lap contest for a strong result. Sunday’s Qualifying 2 put Green in a fifth place starting position for Race 2 later that day which started under wet conditions due to rain. The entire field started the race on rain tires, and while some chose to swap to slicks partway through the race, Green and the other leaders gambled staying out. The risk paid off for Green who ended up with a well-earned fourth place finish for the #33 car in Race 2.
The final race of the weekend also started under damp conditions with all 23 cars sporting rain tires for the start. Green had a great start, improving from sixth up to fourth on the opening lap, and making his way up to P3 a few laps in. At the halfway point, a battle between two cars in front of Green opened the door for him to take over P2, setting him up for a near victory. After 20 laps of racing, Green crossed the start/finish line in second place, his best result of the year so far.
“I’m so happy for everyone in the team,” said Josh Green. “We’ve worked so unbelievably hard for this, and it’s finally started paying off. Both Christian and Dylan showed great pace as well, and the team as a whole took a big leap forward this weekend. I’m proud to have landed all of us at Turn 3 a podium and finally show everyone what we’re made of. The fight isn’t over though! One more weekend to show them what we’ve got.”
Rookie Christian Weir shined at this weekend’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Grand Prix at New Jersey Motorsports Park, his second ever event with the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. The 14-year-old kicked things off with the fifth fastest time among the 23-car field in official practice—just 0.4404 seconds off of P1—and Qualifying 1 placed Weir 10th for Race 1 on Saturday.
After a great start, Weir was up to P9 in the first race and giving it his all to stay ahead of the #11 car of Prescott Campbell. As he came close to claiming his first top ten result, Weir made contact with Campbell on the last lap, locking wheels and pushing to get back on track. Weir saved himself from going off course but lost some positions resulting in a P12 finish in Race 1.
Weir qualified P9 for a rainy Race 2 and started on rain tires along with the rest of the field. Early on, Weir pitted for slick tires in an attempt to get a jump on the leaders’ pit strategy and set to work regaining ground. As the tires came in, Weir was flying, and on the final lap, he passed five cars and crossed the start/finish line in P9 with a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race.
Weir went on a similar strategy for Race 3, starting with the mandated rain tires and pitting for slicks once the race was underway. The tactic paid off once again with Weir catching up to the lead pack throughout the 20-lap race and eventually finishing P6, an impressive result in just his second USF2000 race weekend.
“This weekend was a great weekend for the team,” said Christian Weir. “We had the first podium of this season for Josh and great overall success for the team. The mixed conditions during the weekend really showed me a lot, and I got a lot of experience passing and also some pit stop experience. The team put a lot of hard work in this weekend, and seeing it pay off is very promising. It shows that we will be strong going into Mid-Ohio in a few weeks and contest even higher than we already have!”
Dylan Christie started the weekend strong in pre-event testing, coming in P7 in both practice sessions. After qualifying P14 for Saturday’s Race 1, the rookie got a clean start and began making a gap to the car behind him, eventually gaining almost a 6 second advantage. Unfortunately, that lead was diminished when a mistake in the final laps sent Christie off course, but he got the #34 car back on track and didn’t lose any positions, finishing P15.
With rainy weather on Sunday, Races 2 and 3 saw the entire USF2000 field starting on rain tires. In both races, Christie pitted for slick tires once the race was underway and the track started to dry out. With fresh tires, Christie’s speed and lap times increased as he chased down the lead pack and hoped they would follow his strategy in pitting for new tires, thereby opening the door for him to advance. However, the front half of the field didn’t end up pitting, and with green to green racing, Christie finished P15 and P13 in Races 2 and 3.
“I learned a lot at New Jersey Motorsports Park this weekend,” said Dylan Christie. “The results were not great, but we took a few risks that that didn’t play out our way, and that is all a part of racing. I am looking forward to Mid-Ohio and expect to bring all I have into the final race of the season.”
“I’m very proud of my team and drivers this weekend,” said Team Owner Peter Dempsey. “These tripleheader events threw a lot at us with so many sessions on track, but as a whole, we were well organized. We did a great job on our pit strategy to give our drivers a chance to challenge for podiums. I’m proud of Josh for his commitment and determination to fight for P2 in Race 3. It was a well-deserved podium that’s been a long time coming for us, and we were able to show Josh’s true potential this weekend.”
“Christian did a phenomenal job and really believed in the team and trusted our strategy calls for qualifying and races,” continued Dempsey. “For a driver with so little experience, he showed a huge amount of maturity through the weekend and certainly impressed a lot of people in the paddock. I have no doubts he has a very bright future ahead of him.”
“Dylan tested well before the race, and we came in with higher expectations for him,” continued Dempsey. “Unfortunately, the weekend didn’t pan out as well as we hoped, but he did a good job making sure he brought the car home every race. We will regroup for Mid-Ohio and do everything we can to come back stronger.”
“I want to thank my team for all their hard work and effort,” continued Dempsey. “We made a huge leap forward this weekend, and I’m looking forward to making another big step forward heading to Mid-Ohio at the beginning of October.”
Just one round of racing remains in the 2021 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship where the series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course October 1-3 for the season finale.