MILLVILLE, NJ (Sunday, October 11, 2020) – Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport racer Devlin DeFrancesco went from complete domination to utter disappointment in two days in the New Jersey Motorsport Park round of the Indy Pro 2000 Presented by Cooper Tires series.
Setting his sights on a championship fightback, DeFrancesco pulled off the perfect performance on Saturday when he qualified on pole, set the fastest lap, led every lap, and took his first road course victory.
After Saturday’s performance, the Italian-Canadian racer was looking to repeat on Sunday but could only qualify fifth for Race 2 after battling a lack of tire temperature during the morning qualifying session.
Looking to make up ground in the early part of Race 2, DeFrancesco unfortunately suffered contact in the first corner and damage to his front wing. He was forced to slowly return to the pits for repairs. Rejoining the race, the Kimoa-sponsored racer then set his sights on setting a fast time in the race since the grid for Race 3 was set by the fastest lap in Race 2.
In the final race of the weekend, DeFrancesco made a brilliant start from third to jump into second as his championship rival Sting Ray Robb fell back in the pack. Sadly, DeFrancesco suffered contact on his left rear wheel early in the race and was forced off the track and out of the race.
The two Sunday results classified DeFrancesco 10th in both races – disappointingly taking any chance of a championship win out of his hands.
“We couldn’t have had two more contrasting days. Saturday was just perfect. My Andretti Steinbrenner Autosport team gave me a brilliant car and we ticked every box and gained some points on Sting Ray Robb.
“I was thrilled to score my first road course win in the series and my second win of the series. It was great to get back to victory lane.
“Sunday we were looking to do the same, but things just didn’t go our way. We’ve hardly had any contact all season but it seemed like the racing gods had saved it all up for us today.
“Race 2 was disappointing, but in Race 3 we were right in the hunt in the slippery conditions and I was confident my experience in racing in these type of conditions in Europe would be very helpful.
“We were just settling into the race and next thing I know there is a big bang and I’m sliding off track.
“I feel really disappointed for my team and my sponsors but today just wasn’t our day. We have one round to go now and we’ll be going all out to put on a show and challenge for the win in my first weekend on a street course in North America.
“Big congratulations, of course, go to Sting Ray Robb on clinching the championship today. It has been a hard fought season and I’ve really enjoyed racing with him – my plan is, of course, to make sure he is in my mirrors when we get to St. Pete in a couple of weeks though.”