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Douglas charges to maiden USF2000 podium

By: Matthew Sampson
March 27, 2023

Young New Zealander Jacob Douglas has finished on the podium for the first time in this morning’s USF2000 race at Sebring.

Douglas was third in a slightly shortened 11-lap affair after charging from 9th on the grid. Gaining six places also saw him awarded the Tilton Hard Charger Award.

Douglas charged from 9th to 3rd in this morning’s race. Image: Gavin Baker

The result comes off the back of a trickier opening race yesterday where a slow puncture hampered his chances after he’d moved forward to sit sixth.

Today’s podium, however, brought a change of fortunes with it with Douglas thrilled at the result.

“I feel really good and the team is really happy as well which is great, they all really deserve it,” he told Velocity News. “Personally I feel really good. I think its been awhile coming. We had a few opportunities that we haven’t quite made the most of in the past or have had a bit of bad luck so I’m glad we managed to get the job done.

“Obviously now the next goal is the win, which of course it always is, every race. I think this gives us the confidence and shows we can be there.”

Douglas admits that qualifying is still an area for improvement but his race more than made up for it.

“We had a tough qualifying, we’d improved the car but it was a slight struggle under brakes and I think I didn’t quite maximise on my end too, unfortunately.

“I was really wanting to bring home a good result for the team. We got up to P6 from P9, went back to P7 and then capitalised on a yellow. On the last green lap we made a pass from P5 to P3 which was great.

“It ended under Safety Car but I managed to bring it home for third which is really good, a big confidence booster and a big momentum change heading into Indianapolis (IMS).”

Jacob Douglas (right) on the USF2000 podium. Image: Gavin Baker

The podium was a stark contrast as to how Race 1 had unfolded with the Cantabrian left limping around the circuit with a puncture.

“We were super unlucky in that race, we had an OK start, moved up one position and then found we had a slow leak,” he said. “We couldn’t do anything about it and slipped right to the back.

“I managed to still bring it home in P13 which considering we were practically driving on three wheels, I think is not too bad. I was pleased to just finish the race in that one, but still gutting of course.

Douglas in action at Sebring. Image: Gavin Baker

The weekend’s results see Douglas move up to seventh in the championship standings with a gap in the schedule allowing for some practice and a trip home.

“I’ve got an oval test at Lucas Oil Raceway in the middle of April and then I’ll come back to New Zealand for two weeks which will be really nice, to see everyone again for a bit and then I’m off again until after Toronto in July.”

The next round of the USF2000 Championship covers three races on the famed Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend of May 11-13.

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