As the temperature outside starts to heat up, so does the competition for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship after the first two races of the season in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“I really like my chances this year at Barber,” said Simon Sikes. “I think the Legacy Autosport #19 should be at the front come qualifying. I raced at Barber in the USF2000 series last year and I’m really looking forward to going back again.
“Barber is such a unique fast-paced track with significant elevation change. It makes for a really fun time driving. I think Barber is a place where I might have an edge due to its high commitment nature. Almost every corner has a fast entry with varying degrees of elevation which makes the track pretty fast in general. I like to drive the car into the corner hard, so Barber suits me well.
“I feel I’ve made significant progress in the Road to Indy since I first started in 2020. I have raced with Legacy Autosport the entire time and developed massively as a driver during our weekends together. Thanks to some excellent guidance, I am becoming far more familiar with the Tatuus chassis in both setup and driving. I’m looking forward to learning much more throughout this season.
“We have had the first race of the 2022 season at St Pete and I’m feeling confident about this year’s USF2000 championship. I didn’t quite get the result I had hoped for but we had the pace and a strong team in Legacy Autosport to be able to fight at the front.
“In the lone qualifying session of the weekend, I qualified eighth but only 0.11 seconds off the pole. I knew that the car was fast, but the entire top eight were almost dead even on the timesheet. In a hectic Race 1, I managed a fifth-place finish but was looking forward to a better finish in Race 2. After starting fifth, I attempted a pass for third in Turn 4 but clipped the inside curb and broke the front wing. Thanks to a quick wing change and a well-timed safety car, I was able to catch back up but had to restart last. After several on track passes near the end, I finished ninth. The Legacy Autosport machine was capable of far more than that race, so I was a bit disappointed.
“This had been my second time racing at St Pete. The first time was at the end of 2020 and yielded a best result of eighth. It was definitely an improvement upon the weekend but not quite what we were hoping for. Prior to the race, Legacy Autosport and I tested at Sebring to get ready for this unique street event.
“There was plenty to learn at St Pete and a few things I wish I could have done differently. I am still relatively new to street courses so every time I go, I am learning more and more. If I could have changed anything, I would have been a little more patient on the start in Race 2 as I felt we had a car capable of winning.
“Now I am really looking forward to the next race at Barber Motorsports Park. I’m hoping to put some better results down and nab my first USF2000 win.
“None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of Metalloid Corporation, Legacy Autosport, Legacy Brand and Sturgis Finishing. They are an incredible group of people who have given me the opportunity to contend my first full season in the series. I’m really looking forward to bringing them great results throughout this year.”
“I am extremely excited about the 2022 season so far,” said Louis Michael Meyer, owner of Legacy Autosport. “Simon has showed that he and the car have the speed to win races. We just didn’t have the results that we hoped for. I am really proud of our crew for getting the nose changed so fast and keeping Simon on the lead lap after the passing incident for second place in Race 2. That’s what keeps us in the championship hunt.”
“I am really looking forward to our next event at Barber Motorsports Park. Simon was very fast in winter testing there. It’s such a fantastic facility and it’s always a great time there.
“Thanks to our crew members for the hard work they have put in to get ready for this season. Also, a special thank you to our partners Metalloid, Sturgis Finishing, Legacy Brand and Genius Garage.” Said Meyer
With the fast-paced driving style of Sikes and the equal fast pace of Barber Motorsports Park, it will be exciting to see if Sikes can bring home his first win in USF2000 at Rounds 3 and 4 this April 29th – May 1st.