Thompson Shines in Chaotic Indy Pro 2000 Weekend at Portland Grand Prix

PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY, OREGON

With the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires championship season nearing its end, Parker Thompson arrived at the Grand Prix of Portland this weekend looking for a fight. Driving with rookie team Abel Motorsports, Thompson has performed admirably all year. Entering the weekend ranked 3rd in the overall standings, Thompson’s hopes for the Indy Pro 2000 championship title were shrinking fast. With two strong performances in races this weekend, he continues to demonstrate that he is one of the top drivers on the Road to Indy series. 

A chaotic start to Race 1 saw a complete re-order of the field after a collision among the front group on the opening lap. Having qualified in fourth position, Thompson found himself in the ninth spot after taking a by-pass route to avoid a collision himself. In one of his best drives of the season, the twenty-one year-old Alberta native worked his way through the field to take the final podium position.

The second race of the weekend saw Thompson and the championship leader heading into the weekend, Rasmus Lindh, go head-to-head for the full duration of the race. The two exchanged positions multiple times early in the contest while running in P3 and P4. Lindh would make the final pass and hold Thompson off for the remainder of the race despite a very narrow gap.

With the final rounds of the championship series taking place later this month at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Thompson remains focused on proving that he and Abel Motorsports are a force to reckon with.

 
Parker Thompson
“We never gave up this weekend and we got rewarded with a podium finish. Any time you get shuffled to the back of the field but still manage a top three, it’s a bonus. We deserved that one though. The team did some great work preparing for the race and keeping things focused when it didn’t go exactly as planned. We are looking forward to the next event, and are excited to end the season on a high note.”

 

NEXT EVENTS

September 20-22 – IP2000 Round 15 & 16 – WeatherTech Laguna Seca, CA
September 27-29 – GT3CAN Round 9 & 10 – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC

Thompson Prepared for a Fight After Mid-Pack Finish at Gateway

WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY AT GATEWAY – MADISON, ILLINOIS

With two events remaining in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires Championship, Parker Thompson is focused on making a big impact. The Road to Indy veteran started the season in the best possible way, winning the opening two races with rookie team Abel Motorsports. Thompson has since become familiar with adversity. With Abel Motorsports, he has placed on the podium in six of twelve races, but struggles in other races put the team on its back foot entering the Oval Challenge of St. Louis this weekend.  A strong finish was critical to maintaining Thompson’s contention for the overall championship.
 
After a near miss in qualifying, the young Canadian started the race from ninth position. He would work his way up to sixth place before the checkered flag fell, but failed to gain any ground on other top Championship contenders. With four races remaining, and a 64-point deficit to the leader, Lindh, Thompson knows that there is little room for error.

Parker Thompson
“On these oval tracks where there is a short 2-lap qualifying stint, we’ve got a small window to earn a good starting position. Unfortunately, I had a near miss with the wall on one of my laps that cost us a lot of time. After starting near the back of the field, we are satisfied to at least move up to sixth. That said, with two events remaining, you can bet that we are looking for a strong finish to the season. Our team knows that we can run at the front of the field on the road courses. We are not going to let the season end without a big fight.”

INDY PRO 2000 by Cooper Tires Oval Challenge of St. Louis – Round 12

 

NEXT EVENTS

August 30-31 – IP2000 Round 13 & 14 – Portland International Raceway, OR
September 20-22 – IP2000 Round 15 & 16 – WeatherTech Laguna Seca, CA
September 27-29 – GT3CAN Round 9 & 10 – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC

Indy Pro 2000 Weekend at Mid-Ohio Leaves Thompson Looking For More

MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE – LEXINGTON, OHIO

Involved in a tight battle for the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship presented by Cooper Tires, Abel Motorsports driver Parker Thompson entered Rounds 10 & 11 of the series this weekend at Mid-Ohio ranked second in the overall standings. With only 5 points separating three drivers for that second-place position, every point earned in the two-race event would play a significant role in the standings going forward. After a great qualifying performance, Thompson was struck by misfortune during race action. A mechanical issue forced his retirement early in Race 1. A fourth-place finish in Race 2 saw him lose further ground to Championship contenders Lindh and Kirkwood.

Qualifying in third position for Race 1, Thompson made an early move into second place before a transmission shift actuator failure forced his retirement. With multiple incidents on track in the opening laps, Thompson would register an 11th place finish in the fourteen-car field.

After reparations were made for Race 2 on Sunday, Thompson was again able to improve on his third-place qualifying position and take second early in the race. He would comfortably hold the position until a full course yellow brought the field together on lap twenty. With only five laps remaining Thompson would lose two positions on the restart, and finish in fourth.

Parker Thompson
“This was definitely not the weekend that we were looking to have. We’ve experienced a range of highs and lows in this Indy Pro 2000 season, but I’m proud to have the great crew with Abel Motorsports by my side. We’ve had such a dependable car all year. The shift actuator failure that we experienced this weekend feels like one of those incidents of bad luck that happens sometimes in racing. The team had no issues getting the car back together for Race 2 today. We had a great start, and I felt like we had the pace to challenge for the lead early on. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the jump I needed during a re-start late in the race. The guys behind me were ready to pounce. This one hurts. We’ll look to do better in Round 12 next month at Gateway.”

 

NEXT EVENTS

AUG. 02 – 04, 2019 – GT3 Cup Canada – Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
AUG. 09 – 11, 2019 – CTCC – GP3R, Trois Rivieres, QC

Parker Thompson Breaks New Ground With Incredible Two Series Weekend at Toronto Indy

TORONTO, ONTARIO

Parker Thompson may be the busiest road racing driver on the continent. Since March, the young Alberta native has raced 27 times in four different series. Challenging for championship titles in both open-wheel race cars and sports cars, Thompson has shown incredible skill and versatility. That was most evident this weekend when Thompson raced in both the Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires series, and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series as part of the Honda Indy Toronto event. With four alternating races, Thompson demonstrated an adaptability seldom seen in motorsports. In an incredible performance, he earned three podium finishes and the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger award. The result puts an exclamation mark on his accomplishments so far this year, and further reinforces his status as one of the continents top young drivers.

With a busy ten session schedule over the three day weekend, Thompson could often be seen hurrying between the Porsche GT3 and Indy Pro 2000 paddocks located at opposite ends of the event site in downtown Toronto. Competing in two series during the same event presented a variety of challenges not typical of most race weekends.

“There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into every single session we do on the race track. Balancing two different series this weekend would never have been possible without incredible support from my teams, Abel Motorsports [Indy Pro 2000] and Sports Car Boutique [IMSA GT3 Canada]. Getting the maximum out of two very different cars was a tremendous challenge. The Porsche GT3 Cup Car, and the Tatuus PM-18 Indy Pro 2000 car are not only very different in size and handling characteristics, but they also require a very different strategy and approach during race action. Going back and forth between vehicles, and jumping straight into race pace really tested my concentration and ability to remember key markers and set-up notes for this very unforgiving Streets of Toronto track. This was probably my most stressful weekend of racing ever, but I’m overjoyed by our results! In these two highly competitive series, I always feel blessed to stand on the podium. Doing that three out of four times this weekend feels like a huge achievement.” – Parker Thompson

The first of three podiums came with Abel Motorsports in Indy Pro 2000, where Thompson began his first race of the weekend from seventh position in the thirteen car line up. Navigating traffic and multiple yellow flag incidents on the challenging street course, Thompson maneuvered the #8 Abel Motorsports car to a 3rd place finish. 

Race 2 in Indy Pro 2000 featured a relentless duel between Thompson and championship leader Rasmus Lindh. Starting in P3 and P2 respectively, the two drivers exchanged places multiple times early in the race. Thompson would make a final pass in turn 3 of the Toronto street course, and hold off Lindh for the remainder of the race to earn a second place finish.

In GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, Thompson began Race 1 from 7th position after a heavy rain prior to race start created conditions that challenged a variety of drivers and teams. In a clear demonstration of car control, Thompson navigated the #3 SCB Racing / Porsche Centre Victoria car around the drying track, executing four passes in the first seven laps. The performance earned him the Yokohama Tires Hard Charger Award, and the final step on the podium.

In Race 2 of GT3 Canada, a rare mistake from Thompson saw his Porsche make contact with a tire wall in turn eight. Continuing the race from the back of the field, a lengthy yellow flag resulting from a crash between drivers Metni and Dussault allowed Thompson to rejoin the main group and improve his position. Piloting a car with front end damage, he would work his way up to 5th position before the 45-minute race expired.

Images Credit: Sandile Magadlela - 778-951-3984 - sandile@mgdla.com - @_mgdla

This incredible weekend marked the 100th race of Thompson’s young career, and performing double duty was a fitting celebration of that milestone. Since 2015, Thompson has had a steady career, earning wins in every type of car he has raced. In one-hundred races, he has earned 55 podiums and 26 race wins. His lifetime winning and podium percentages are outstanding by any measure, but Thompson’s numbers this season are even more impressive. In 2019, he has won exactly a third of his races, and placed on the podium more than three quarters of the time.

After one weekend off, Thompson will resume his busy schedule on July 26th with three consecutive race weekends in Indy Pro 2000, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada, and the Canadian Touring Car Championship. He is currently second place in overall championship standings for Indy Pro 2000 and GT3 Canada, and he is leading the Canadian Touring Car Championship GTS standings.way up to 5th position before the 45-minute race expired.

IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada Round 7 & 8 – Honda Indy Toronto

 

NEXT EVENTS

JUL. 26 – 28, 2019 – Indy Pro 2000 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH
AUG. 02 – 04, 2019 – GT3 Cup Canada – Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI
AUG. 09 – 11, 2019 – CTCC – GP3R, Trois Rivieres, QC

Parker Thompson Returns to Form in Indy Pro 2000 at Road America

ROAD AMERICA CIRCUIT, ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN

The Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires visited the famed Road America Circuit this past weekend for its only event in the month of June. After a challenging month of May in the Road to Indy series, Parker Thompson returned to the form he has demonstrated throughout his young racing career. The Alberta native began the weekend by posting the fastest overall time for Race 1 qualifying. In two critical races during the weekend, Thompson would earn two podium finishes.

It was an important result for Thompson and team Abel Motorsports, who divided their crew between Road America, and Pittsburgh International Race Complex for the weekend, where Thompson’s teammate Jacob Abel is also contending for the F3 America’s championship. Veteran engineer on the Road to Indy, Thomas Knapp, was brought in to manage the Indy Pro 2000 crew for the weekend. His championship winning experience played a meaningful role in the team’s result.

In Qualifying 1, Thompson and the #8 Abel Motorsports machine posted the fastest time and earned pole position for the first race of the weekend. Qualifying 2 was more tightly contested. Thompson ran fourth fastest among the thirteen drivers, just one tenth of a second behind the leader.

In race action, that tight competition continued. Both Race 1 and 2 showed multiple position changes among the front runners. Thompson would finish 3rd, taking the final podium step each time. The results earned Thompson valuable points towards what is turning into a very close championship battle. He is currently second in the standings, trailing Swedish rookie Rasmus Lindh, and one point ahead of 2018 USF2000 Champion Kyle Kirkwood.

“It is great to get on the podium here in Road America. Given some of my recent results in this series, a strong showing here was important to staying competitive in this tight 2019 Championship. Wisconsin, and Road America, is also the closest thing that I have to a home outside of Canada. We’ve got a great group of fans and supporters here to cheer us on. We are so happy to be able to pull this result together and celebrate with them all.” 

The Indy Pro 2000 series continues on July 12 – 14, 2019 at the Streets of Toronto for the Honda Toronto Indy. As the only Canadian race on the Road to Indy, the event is always special for Thompson, but this year it will be of extra significance.

As big of a crowd that we had out here at Road America, I expect to see even more fans and supporters in Toronto this year. Not only will I be racing in Indy Pro 2000, but I’ll also be competing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge. That’s going to make for a great weekend! It’s going to be extra special, because it will also mark my 100TH ever auto race. At my young age, I’m so fortunate to have had a great career, and I’m looking forward to some special festivities to celebrate that landmark.”

Montreal F1 Grand Prix Weekend – Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada & USA Results

Qualifying 1 (pdf)
Qualifying 2 (pdf) 
Race 1 – Round 6 (pdf)
Race 2 – Round 7 (pdf)
Overall Standings (pdf)

 

Next Events

JUN. 28 – 29, 2019– Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA – Watkins Glen International, NY 
JUN 29 – 30, 2019– CTCC Race 5 & 6 – Shannonville Motorsport Park, ON
JUL. 06 – 07, 2019– Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada – CTMP, Bowmanville, ON
JUL. 12 – 14, 2019– Indy Pro 2000 & Porsche GT3 Cup – Streets of Toronto, ON