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Douglas back in action in NZ after strong USF Pro 2000 Test

By: Velocity News
November 1, 2023

Jacob Douglas was straight back in action on his return to New Zealand last week, testing a Toyota FT60 at Hampton Downs just days after his successful USF Pro 2000 test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 21-22.

Douglas joined Pabst Racing teammate and 2023 USF2000 champion Simon Sikes for the test that featured six sessions split across two days.

The Kiwi teenager completed 99 laps of the famed IMS Road Course over the test, setting a best lap of 1:22.2 in Sunday’s middle session.

He featured in the top five in four of his five completed runs and was in the top three in two of those.

“We progressed really well throughout the whole test,” said Douglas. “I really like the car. It’s like a more gripped-up, faster version of the USF with some downforce, which is fantastic.

“It was great to show we had some good speed, and our progress throughout the two-day test was brilliant and will help us move forward.

“Having done some laps in FT50s and FT60s definitely helped.

“It was great knowing the feeling of the increased downforce, how to use it, and how to drive a bigger car than the USF2000 I’ve been driving the past two seasons. It really helped me get on the pace immediately.”

In his very first USF Pro 2000 test session, Douglas finished second, falling only 0.08 seconds short of the fastest time.

Jacob Douglas in action at the USF Pro 2000 test at IMS

Having returned to New Zealand mid-week, he was immediately in action at Hampton Downs, testing an FT60 ahead of Wednesday’s Tony Quinn Foundation Shootout.

“The car was definitely a bit different, but I really enjoyed it and gained some good experience for the Shootout,” he says.

Douglas is one of three selected finalists for the shootout, going up against talents Liam Sceats and Alex Crosbie for a massive $70,000 prize towards participation in the 2024 Castrol Toyota Formula Regional Oceania Championship, New Zealand’s premiere single-seater racing series that includes the NZ Grand Prix.

Following that, the team will continue to work on securing additional support towards a full USF Pro 2000 season with Pabst Racing.

Douglas is excited at the prospect, saying his test success and single-seater experience leave him ready to make a statement.

“We’ve got the speed, and when we head back over, we’re going to give it a good shot.”

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