(For Immediate diffusion)
BEST RESULTS OF THE SEASON FOR THOMAS NEPVEU AT INDIANAPOLIS
9th in race 1 – 8th race 2 – 6th in race 3 – Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship
Oka (Quebec, Canada) – May 15, 2021. Thomas Nepveu had a big weekend at the Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit, a road course built inside the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2.5-mile oval. Thomas Nepveu once again displayed his improved driving skills as he has done since the beginning of his rookie season in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship. After qualifying the #2 Cromwell| Karting Excellence| Home Hardware car in 7thplace on Thursday, Thomas Nepveu crossed the finish line in 9th, 8th and 6th places respectively in the two Friday and one Saturday races held over the weekend. This sixth place is his best result so far this season and suggests that we will see the young Oka driver in the top-5 for the coming races.
The series drivers took part in three practice and qualifying sessions on Thursday, an important learning experience for Thomas Nepveu who was able to work with his team to gradually improve the car, his knowledge of the track and his driving, which is a little different on this hybrid track from conventional road courses. His unwavering determination, absence of driving errors and an ability to learn and adapt to new circumstances served him well.
The oval part of the track requires a great deal of precision from the driver in order to position himself well at the entrance of the first wide corner, to brake without locking a front wheel, and to negotiate all the corners without the usual aerodynamic downforce we see on road courses.
Thomas Nepveu Describes the On-Track Action
“Our plan for the two first 50-minute practice sessions on Thursday was to learn the unusual layout with its long straight and wide oval part on entry to corner 1, and the other more technical corners of the rest of the layout. We originally set up the car with relatively low downforce to reduce drag and go as fast as possible on the long straight. However, the lower downforce for braking and cornering in the infield corners were new to me and I had to adapt my driving technique accordingly.
In qualifying, late on Thursday afternoon, the team kept us in the pits until about eight minutes before the end of the session so that we used only one set of new tires. There was enough time left when we went out on track to complete three timed laps and I set the seventh quickest time.
After a good start from 7th on the grid in the first Friday race in the #2 Cromwell| Karting Excellence| Home Hardware car, I was in 4th position but then found that the car was slowing by a few tenths of a second which made it difficult for me to maintain my position and I slipped down to 9th place at the end.
The team then changed some settings in preparation for the second Friday race, mainly by giving me a little more downforce and therefore more grip in the tighter corners. The car did feel better but still slowed over the course of the race and I crossed the finish line eighth. We needed to work some more on the set-up for tomorrow’s 20-lap race.
On Saturday, we launched well at the beginning of the race and on a restart on lap seven. I gained a position each time and ended up in 6th position and defended that position right to the end of the 20-lap race. It was not easy, as the car started to understeer on lap 10. I tried to adjust my driving, but I still lack some practical experience in order to compensate for these variations in the car’s behaviour over a race distance. I’m happy with my performance this weekend and I’m looking forward to the next race on the Lucas Oil Raceway oval,” said Thomas Nepveu as he got out of the car.
Next Event – May 27 and 28 – Lucas Oil Raceway (Indianapolis, Indiana)