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JDC Motorsports scores double podium
JDC MotorSports once again showed why it is regarded as one of the premier junior formula car squads in North America on Saturday (June 19), placing two drivers on the podium in Round Four of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda at the Iowa Speedway. Raphael Abbate and Mikhail Goikhberg showed great speed and skill in only their second-ever oval races, recovering from early race drama to finish an impressive second and third respectively.

A mere two weeks after taking part in their first oval race in Indiana, the talented duo of Abbate and Goikhberg were back behind the wheels on another fast short oval via race four on the USF2000 calendar at the Iowa Speedway. Wasting little time getting up to speed on the 7/8-mile banked oval, Abbate led the opening Friday test session, prior to the duo challenging for top honors throughout the final testing run and lone practice session.

Given the impressive results on day one by Abbate and Goikhberg, despite focusing on car setups rather than posting fast times, the entire JDC MotorSports team entered race day in Iowa on a high. While things didn’t go exactly as planned during morning two-lap single-car qualifying, with Abbate posting the fourth best time, and Goikhberg sixth quickest on the time charts, both racers were confident of success in the afternoon race.

When the green flag waved in front of an ever-growing crowd of enthusiastic fans, it initially appeared as the racing gods had other ideas however. Abbate was immediately forced to take evasive action to miss contact between two cars right in front of him, sending him back to seventh, while Goikhberg was involved in early race contact with another driver, sending him to the rear of the field.

The JDC MotorSports drivers however remained calm and focused, rapidly putting the early difficulties behind them. Turning times on par with the runaway race leader, Abbate and Goikhberg carved their way through the field, steadily advancing up the timing monitors with each passing lap. The lone driver not to be lapped, Abbate steered the No. 11 Avery Dennison/Alphacolor/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry to second place at the checkered flag, earning his first North American podium finish. Goikhberg, in what was a stunning recovery drive, crossed the stripe third in his No. 10 Chetverg/Red Line Oil/JDC MotorSports entry, giving him a second consecutive oval podium finish.

The JDC MotorSports drivers and crew have little time to celebrate, as their chase for the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda title resumes this weekend (June 26-27), with Rounds Five and Six at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Entering the doubleheader, Goikhberg and Abbate are third and fourth in the championship fight, while JDC MotorSports is third in the team standings.

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