JDC MotorSports to Field Five Drivers in MRTI Finale
 September 9, 2015| 
  • Team News

Three Pro Mazda drivers and two USF2000 pilots prepped to cap season at Mazda Raceway

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Leading junior formula open wheel squad JDC MotorSports will cap off their season of Mazda Road to Indy competition this weekend (September 11-13) at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., and they’ll have a full paddock of five drivers for this event which will be waged at a facility that is considered to be Mazda’s spiritual home. Vero Beach, Florida’s Kyle Connery will lead a three-driver attack on the Pro Mazda Championship, as he will be joined by Flint, Michigan’s Michael Johnson, who returned to the track after contact with the wall at the season opener in St. Petersburg, Fla. Las Vegas, Nevada’s Parker Nicklin reunites with the team after eight starts during the first half of the schedule. In the USF2000 ranks, stellar Canadian rookie Parker Thompson will have a teammate this weekend as Cooper Tires Prototype Lites regular Robert Alon will make his series debut.

“We’re all excited about the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and we’re focused on making sure we provide our drivers with the equipment and support they need to finish the season on a high note,” offered JDC MotorSports Team Principal John Church. “Parker is gunning for the Rookie of the Year crown in USF2000 and Kyle and Michael will be focused on capping their year with solid results. We’re happy to have Parker Nicklin back under the tent and Robert’s debut should impress people. He’s been fast in the Prototype Lites program.”

Thompson has been the shining light for JDC MotorSports this year, as he came up to speed quickly and has learned from each successive USF2000 race. The young Canadian pilot is fired up to complete his first full season on the Mazda Road to Indy and will be gunning for his first podium finish having posted a pair of fourth-place results. Parker’s consistency has been impressive with 10 top-10 finishes. Alon is a 24-year-old native Californian who is completing his first full season of sports car racing and currently sits third overall in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites series. The Santa Monica resident has a pair of runner-up finishes at Watkins Glen and Road America among four podiums.

In the Pro Mazda ranks, Connery has battled a string of bad luck after some very strong early season finishes, and having announced his plans to sit out the 2016 season, he is extremely motivated to go out on top and show his true form. Unlike Connery, who had a strong start to the season, Johnson was involved in a shunt during the opening race weekend of the year and was forced to recover and rehabilitate for four months before making his return at Mid-Ohio. After getting back behind the wheel, he’s anxious to make another step forward. Nicklin ran the opening four weekends of the schedule, and comes back to action having posted a pair of 11th-place finishes as his best results.

All five drivers will be on-track on Thursday for the test day, which will include two 20-minute practice sessions for each series. On Friday, September 11, the Pro Mazda drivers will have two practice sessions (9:35 am / 3:05 pm PST), while the USF2000 drivers receive two sessions (8:55 am / 1:20 pm PST) ahead of qualifying at 4:25 pm PST.  On Saturday, Parker and Robert will compete in Race 1 at 10:30 am, and on Sunday, they’re run the back end of the doubleheader on Sunday at 4:00 pm PST. The Pro Mazda qualifying run with go green at 8:00 am PST on Saturday morning, and the first of two races will be run at 2:45 pm. The second race is scheduled for Sunday at 11:40 am. Live video and commentary will be available on the series website (www.promazda.com and www.usf2000.com) and on the new Road to Indy app, which is available free for iPhones and Android devices through iTunes or Google Play.

JDC MotorSports races with associate sponsorship from RedLineOil.com, HR Sportswear and Showdown Displays.

Kyle Connery - #91
: 23
Hometown: Stuart, Fla.
Residence: Vero Beach, Fla.
Sponsors: Hi-Tide Boat Lifts, SeaRock, Connery Concrete

2015 Record:
Point Standing
s: 14th – 107 points
Best Finish: 5th – St. Petersburg (Race 2)

Driver Quote: “I can't believe it's the end of the season already. Seems like only yesterday when we were rolling into St. Pete back in March. For me, it's bittersweet. As of right now I will be taking a year off from racing to focus on my health, school and my business. For me, it isn't an easy decision, but one that will benefit me in the long-term. It's been an incredible couple of years with the JDC family. We've had some great moments on and off the track and I can't thank the Church family enough. I am really excited to have John engineering my car in pit lane for Mazda Raceway. The last time we worked together, we were in the top five both times. Aside from that, the other JDC drivers have got together on our sims and really pushed each other hard to help us all be better prepared. I’m happy as well that our partner Hi-Tide will be there as well. There's a lot to look forward to this weekend. One last shot at it.”

Michael Johnson - #54
: 23
Hometown: Flint, Mich.
Residence: Flint, Mich.
Sponsors:  Universal Coating, BraunAbility, Arai Helmets, Adidas Motorsport

2015 Record:
Point Standings
: 22nd – 12 points
Best Finish: 15th – Mid-Ohio (Race 1 and 2)

Driver Quote: “I'm very excited to finish the season out in California at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It has been a crazy year with my injury but I feel even better then what I did at Mid-Ohio and I can't wait to see what I can do! I'm so excited to get back driving!!”

Parker Nicklin - #26
: 18
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.
Residence: Indianapolis, Ind.
Sponsors:  Just Let It Ring, Nicklin Property Management, OMG Media Solutions

2015 Record:
Point Standings
: 17th – 61 points
Best Finish: 11th – St. Pete (Race 2) / Barber (Race 2)

About JDC Motorsports:
Involved in formula car racing since its inception in 1994, JDC Motorsports has established itself as one of the leading junior open-wheel teams in North America. Initially making its mark in the F2000 class of club racing competition, JDC Motorsports was soon a team worth watching in the pro ranks. Competing in the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship, the team not only won races, but also helped develop multiple young drivers. In 2005, JDC Motorsports expanded its efforts, entering the Star Mazda Championship. Quickly becoming one of the top teams in the series, JDC captured both the driver and team titles in 2007, as well as Rookie of the Year honors, with Dane Cameron scoring a series-high three wins. In 2008, JDC Motorsports was the runner-up in the Star Mazda Championship and finished fourth in its inaugural season of F2000 Championship Series competition. The Minnesota-based team won the Star Mazda Championship title with Rookie of the Year Adam Christodoulou, and the F2000 Championship Series title with Chris Miller in 2009. The following year, JDC continued its winning ways, earning the Rookie of the Year award in the Star Mazda Championship with Connor De Philippi, and scoring a non-points win in the USF2000 National Championship. In 2011, the Minneapolis-based squad captured its third Star Mazda Championship title with Tristan Vautier, scored a win in the USF2000 National Championship, and made its Prototype Lites Championship debut, earning five podium finishes. JDC Motorsports added to its Star Mazda Championship win tally, USF2000 Championship podium total, and finished as the Prototype Lites Championship runner-up in 2012. Last year, the squad continued its run of Pro Mazda and USF2000 podium finishes, and was third in the Prototype Lites title fight.

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