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Success for Jacob Douglas with 3 from 3 at Sebring

By: Matthew Sampson
February 10, 2023

Three races and three incredible wins.

That’s how Jacob Douglas spent his Thursday at the YACademy Winter Series at Sebring International Raceway, a display of domination which will be turning the heads of all competitors.

“It feels great to go three from three and get the job done here at Sebring, for the team and I,” said Douglas speaking with Velocity News. “We’ve been working hard all off season so it’s good to get a win under the belt.

“We had the overall pace advantage all day but definitly had to work for it. I had some good battles with Joey (Brienza) in the last race which made getting the win more rewarding.

“This definitely boosts our confidence heading into the first round in St. Petes [next month]. It’s a big year for us and we want to hit the ground running.”

Racing with Exclusive Autosport in his usual USF2000 car, Douglas looked racey all day Wednesday, second fastest in first practice before topping Practice 2, only teammate Joey Brienza and the #68 of Ethan Ho remaining in touching distance.

Controversy erupted following qualifying, Douglas topping Brienza by a narrow .07 seconds to appear to have pole. There was confusion, however, in the Exclusive Autosport camp, a transponder issue for Brienza seeing the team disputing his time against his own teammate and having it amended to award him pole ahead of Douglas.

That didn’t matter for the Kiwi; Motivated by the drama to go on to Race 1 success, dominating the field to take victory over Ho by a massive 4.3 seconds with Brienza rounding out the podium.

Race 2 brought about more of the same although this time Brienza was able to keep touch with his teammate. Douglas never presented an opportunity, holding his nerve to make it two on the trot by a narrow .78 over his teammate. Zack Ping worked his way for third with Ho left for fourth.

Douglas with his winners medal after Race 2. Image: JMD

A reverse top six grid for Race 3 meant overtakes were crucial, an area which the Kiwi hadn’t had to worry about thus far due to his dominance up front. It wasn’t an issue, the youngster working through to take a third convincing victory with Brienza left in second once again, Ho rounding out the podium.

It’s a huge confidence builder for the team with the field made up of USF2000 and F4 racers.

With the help of driving coach Enzo Mucci, who has helped worldwide talent including our own Liam Lawson, Douglas was never in doubt, the coaching icon’s expertise immense in discussions with the Kiwi every pre and post-race.

Douglas’s pace immediately announces him as a title contender and will leave the field wary, the Cantabrian looking like a man on a mission in his USF2000 car.

“We’re looking forward to a strong year for all of us,” said Douglas.

There’s now a short turnaround for the team who head three hours down the road for Round 2 of the Winter Series beginning on Saturday (Sunday NZ time).

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