ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Legacy Autosport capped their second season in the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, bringing two drivers to the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the October 23-25 weekend to compete in the finale of the 2020 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.
American Simon Sikes was back with the team after missing the rounds at New Jersey Motorsports Park as part of a partnership with Marotti Autosport, and he was coming off a big win at the SCCA Runoffs at Road America. Sikes was joined by open wheel rookie Michael Myers and both drivers were focused on gaining experience on the 1.8 mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Both Sikes and Myers found speed throughout the weekend and gained important experience. Sikes took advantage of a lap one incident in Race 1 to advance into the top-10, finishing eighth, while Myers’ top finish was 15th in Race 2 on Sunday.
In the opening race of the doubleheader on Saturday, Myers started on the outside of the seventh row thanks to his best qualifying effort of the year, while Sikes launched from 17th. Both Legacy Autosport drivers made it through a big turn one opening lap shunt that scattered the field, and Sikes somehow found a way through to advance to sixth for the restart. Myers got held up in the melee and dropped to the tail of the field. As the race developed, Sikes logged more crucial wheel-to-wheel experience in the Tatuus USF-17 and delivered a strong eighth-place finish, his second top-10 of the season. Myers was in a tight battle with a handful of cars but brushed the wall slightly as he pushed the limit and retired on lap 12.
The season was capped on Sunday morning, running before the NTT IndyCar Series finale. Sikes started 15th and battled throughout the race to advance to 13th at the checkered flag. Myers started 19th and drove a tremendous race, coming out of a hard-fought battle with several cars to finish 15th, which tied his best finish of the year.
The reworking of the Road To Indy schedule to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown pushed the final races of the season into late October, which means that off-season testing will begin immediately to prepare for the 2021 season. Legacy Autosport is currently scheduling their testing program and can offer opportunities to drivers in both their USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 equipment. The team scored a popular victory in August, winning in their first Indy Pro 2000 start with Kody Swanson in the Freedom 90 and Lucas Oil Raceway, and intends to campaign the full program next season.
LEGACY AUTOSPORT – DRIVER RESULTS AND QUOTES
USF2000 – ROUND 16/17/18 – OCTOBER 23-25, 2020
GRAND PRIX OF ST. PETERSBURG – ST. PETERSBURG, FL
MICHAEL MYERS – #24
Qualifying 1: 14th – 1:13.6667
Qualifying 2: 19th – 1:13.3736
Race 1: Start – 14th / Finish – 17th
Race 2: Start – 19th / Finish – 15th
Driver Quote: “My racing season has officially come to an end this year and it has been undoubtedly one of the biggest steps forward in my racing career so far. Competing in the 2020 Road to Indy USF2000 series has been an amazing experience and I am excited and looking forward to next season. Even though I only competed in three events and nine races this season, I feel as if I have developed comfort and confidence in the USF2000 race car. Racing at the difficult track of St. Petersburg, Florida only furthered my abilities and mindset. The Streets of St. Pete is the most difficult tracks I have driven so far. This is due to the copious amounts of walls that like to jump out in front of you with any slight mishap. It almost reminds me of trees in my previous off-road racing career! Fortunately, I only had two slight incidents at the weekend and learned so much from them on how to avoid repeating them in the future. Overall, this year has been superb and I am grateful to everyone who has helped me reach this point in my career this early. The 2021 Road to Indy USF2000 series is definitely where I want to compete and we are now in the process of making that happen in this off-season. We are working toward the full-season budget and winter testing as you read this. We will make it happen!”
SIMON SIKES – #20
Qualifying 1: 17th – 1:13.8967
Qualifying 2: 15th – 1:13.1044
Race 1: Start – 17th / Finish – 8th
Race 2: Start – 15th / Finish – 13th
Driver Quote: “St Pete was my first experience on a street circuit. I finished 14th in our one and only practice session as I got up to speed and comfortable with the close walls. The changing track conditions were surprising as I had never raced on a track that changed as much as this one from session to session. We made some adjustments for the first qualifying but, unfortunately, went the wrong way as the track rubbered up more than expected. After a 17th place qualifying result, more changes were made for qualifying number 2. I finished the second qualifying in 15th place with confidence that we would have better race pace. A crazy start in the first race enabled me to pass 11 cars in turn 1 as I went from 17th to 6th on the grid. I took the inside lane as a huge crash piled up cars on the outside. A full course caution ensued but I kept the position and restarted P6. Fighting to stay near the front for the rest of the race, I eventually lost two positions but still came away with a solid P8 result. I started race 2 from 17th place as well after a penalty from qualifying moved me back two spots. I fought my way forward throughout the race and crossed the finish line in 13th place. Overall, it was a pretty good weekend. I did this race to learn the track and prepare for next year, and I felt like I accomplished that. I came away with a top-10 finish and made progress in preparing for my first full season of USF2000 competition next year. I can’t thank Marotti Autosport and Legacy Autosport enough for helping me make this happen. I’m looking forward to next year!”