With three wins and only one finish outside of the top nine in nine races this season, Parker Thompson is off to a great start. As a result, he enters this weekend tied for the USF2000 Championship points lead with his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Anthony Martin.
“We’re defiantly competitive, but it’s a unique situation when you’re racing a teammate,” Thompson told Popular Open Wheel. “Usually, when you’re racing someone that’s your competitor, you don’t know their data or what they’re doing to the car. When you’re racing a teammate, you know every change that goes into the car and what they’re doing – basically, every situation, you know what’s happening. So you can judge yourself to the teammate a lot more than a competitor.”
The Red Deer, Alberta native hopes to continue the momentum through the weekend in the series’ only Canadian date on the schedule.
“It’s pretty huge, honestly,” Thompson said. “IndyCar only does one race a year in Canada so to be a part of that is fantastic. I love Toronto. I love the people. Lots of friends, family, and partners out this weekend, so it’s definitely a huge deal.”
While he wants to contend for the win, he says the key will be having a clean weekend so he can gain as many points as possible. With a pair of races across two days, it begs the question whether to give up a little day one ahead of two. However, Thompson says the level of competition does not allow that.
“It’s pretty full-out both days,” he said. “You’re feeling it out in practice as you don’t want to write off a car in practice. Number one is not to crash in practice because you won’t have enough time to re-build it for qualifying. But number two is to go as hard as you can as we’re in the championship and I’ll be going as far as I can both days to get the most out of the car.”
Going through the weekend being as solid as possible will require getting through the 11 turns without incident.
“In every corner, there are concrete patches,” Thomspon said. “That’s honestly the toughest part of Toronto. When you go into the corner and have so much grip, as soon as you get to the apex you get on the concrete and lose all the grip you had on the asphalt. That’s the challenge in every corner – turn 1, turn three, and around the track.
“That is the most difficult part about it, and that’s something other street courses don’t have – it’s unique to Toronto.”
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