Simon Sikes: The Momentum Continues

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Feature, Simon Sikes

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Published on July 07, 2021 with No Comments

Three times on the podium at Mid-Ohio (Gavin Baker Photography/Road to Indy)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Coming off my best result in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship at Road America with a second-place finish in Race Two, I headed to Mid-Ohio looking for an even better weekend. With three races ahead of me and an excellent team in Legacy Autosport, I knew we had the pace to fight at the front. After a rainy test day on Thursday and only finishing 12th quickest in official practice, we had our work cut out for qualifying.

A single qualifying session would determine the starting grid for all three races, so maximizing our pace with several quick laps would be key to determining how the weekend would go. The first outing of the session had me in 17th place by the time I re-entered the pits. With a quick tire swap and a slight adjustment on the car, I headed back out for my final run of the session with only a few minutes on the clock. The car was near perfect on the second outing, and I was able to set the fourth quickest time of the session with less than three minutes on the clock. I finished the run with a couple of similarly paced laps which would have me starting fourth in all three races.

It’s great to race in front of an INDYCAR crowd.

Race One set the tone for the weekend as I maneuvered my way into third place in the opening corner before an early safety car bunched the field back up. With little pressure from behind on the restart, I set my sights forward on the top two spots. Despite my best efforts, I was not able to fight for the win. I crossed the finish line in third place for my second podium in as many races. I was thrilled for the team to continue our success and pick up back-to-back podiums.

Race Two felt like a replay of Race One, but without the early caution. Once again, I found myself in third place after Turn One and never looked back. We had some phenomenal pace on cold tires to break away from the pack, but unfortunately, just not quite enough to catch the top two. However, another podium in third place was excellent.

The racing was certainly intense.

Race Three was easily my best of the weekend. In a caution-filled affair, restarts and cold tire pace were massively influential. For the third time in a row, I passed on the outside of Turn One to put myself up into third place. However, this time I was not done making moves. On the second restart of the race, I closed the gap to second place to set up a pass into Turn Four. With an outside move around the championship leader, I slid into second place, where I began my hunt for my first win. Although I was faster than the leader in the closing laps, I had to settle for second place in the final race of the weekend.

Despite narrowly missing out on my first win in USF2000, so far, I am the only driver to have stepped onto the podium in four consecutive races this season. None of it would have been possible without the fantastic support from Legacy Autosport and Metalloid Corporation. I am looking forward to continuing the podium streak and hopefully collecting my first USF2000 win at New Jersey Motorsports Park in August.

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