Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Alberico kicks off USF2000 Winterfest with a hat-trick

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted February 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm U.S. F2000 National Championship

USF2000 Winterfest Race 1 Podium (pictured from left to right): James Dayson, Danilo Estrela, Neil Alberico, and Scott Hargrove

USF2000 Winterfest Race 1 Podium at Sebring International Raceway (pictured from left to right): James Dayson, Danilo Estrela, Neil Alberico, and Scott Hargrove

During a post-race interview, Neil Alberico summed up his start to the USF2000 Winterfest with precision: “There is no better way to start the season.”

Indeed.

Alberico started from pole position in all three races and topped the competition in each event to earn a true hat-trick during the opening week of the 2013 USF2000 Winterfest at Sebring International Raceway.

While Alberico stood atop the podium after each race, his Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Scott Hargrove was nearly as impressive, finishing runner-up in all three rounds.

In the opening event, Alberico and Hargrove were joined on the podium by Belardi Auto Racing’s Danilo Estrela. Stefan Rzadzinksi was fourth with RC Enerson rounding out the top-five.

The second race saw British driver James Fletcher join his Cape/WTR teammates on the podium. Garett Grist and Estrela completed the fast five.

In Round 3, Grist worked his way to the podium and set the fastest lap of the race in the process. Still he was unable to catch Alberico and Hargrove out front. Fletcher was fourth with Jesse Lazare posting a solid fifth-place run.

James Dayson, driving for ArmsUp Motorsports, used the event as a test session and improved his time earning top honors as the only National Class competitor.

Alberico (96 points) leads Hargrove by 21. Grist is third with 47, followed by Lazare (46), Rzadzinski (45), Fletcher (44), Eidson (43), Estrela (42), Portante (40) and Enerson (37).

Cape/WTR holds a commanding lead in the Team Championship with 120 points. Belardi Auto Racing is second with 40 followed by Andretti Autosport with 29.

The drivers return to action this weekend, Feb. 9-10, for Rounds 4-6 at Palm Beach International Raceway.

For up-to-date news and views on karting and junior formula racing follow @JOWT on Twitter or follow on Facebook.

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