Thompson Earns 3rd in Championship After Exciting Indy Pro 2000 Finale Weekend
WEATHERTECH RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA – MONTEREY, CA
In the final weekend of the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 by Cooper Tires championship, Parker Thompson put together an exemplary performance to secure 3rd in the overall standings. With multiple drivers involved in a tight points race over the course of the two-race weekend, Thompson was presented with a serious challenge in the finale. A mechanical failure in qualifying prevented Thompson’s #8 Abel Motorsports car from finishing the session and saw him starting Sunday’s race from the tenth position. In arguably his best drive of the season, the young Canadian navigated traffic on the challenging WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, picking up eight spots to finish second.
That race was a sharp contrast from Saturday’s Race 1. In the opening race of the weekend, Thompson started fourth and finished fourth. With many of the drivers participating in their first race on the iconic road course, fraught with sandy runoff areas and extreme elevation changes, action on track appeared somewhat cautious.
In Race 2, an opening-lap collision between teammates Kirkwood and Petrov seemed to loosen the reigns on the entire field. There was a constant re-ordering of the group throughout the race. None benefitted from that more than Thompson. Most notable was a lengthy battle between Thompson and Kory Enders of DeForce Racing. Putting constant pressure on Enders, Thompson made multiple pass attempts, often forcing side-by-side action through some of the most challenging parts of the track. He would pass Enders with less than five minutes remaining to take 2nd position, and then set his sights on the race leader, Lindh. Gaining time every lap, Thompson would get within a second of Lindh before the checkered flag flew.
The performance earned Thompson the 3rd overall position in the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship and is a fitting end to a strong season with rookie team Abel Motorsports. The duo finished on the podium eight times and won two races.
“Coming into the weekend we knew that we weren’t going to be leaving with the big trophy, so it was important for us to find another way to have a big impact. We’re in a constant battle to go faster and move up. Starting the final race from tenth didn’t leave me a lot of options. It was a hard-fought race and one that we got rewarded for. I’m proud to have made another deep run for a Road to Indy Championship with a rookie team.”
INDY PRO 2000 by Cooper Tires Round 15 & 16 – GP of Monterey
Sep. 27-29 – GT3CAN Finale (Round 9 & 10) – Circuit Mont-Tremblant, QC