One up, one down… the story of Portante’s Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda season

Peter Portante’s final 2014 Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda weekend mirrored so many of his other weekends this season; one up race, and one down race.  The 18 year-old from Plainville, Connecticut rode the quickest lap of the race to a 4th place finish in race #1, but contact on the second corner of race #2 led to a disappointing 17th place finish.

Portante’s racing season isn’t quite done yet, as he will be piloting a Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire car for Team Pelfrey during the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road To Indy test on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.  The test takes place on September 13 and 14, 2014.

Here is Peter’s blog, thanks for following along all season…

The 2014 USF2000 race season is finally over: The short season that really flew by and ended recently in Sonoma, California, at Sonoma Raceway, a track that I had never been to. The weekend really summed up my whole season. The first day of testing was never good, and unfortunately, going along with the usual pattern of my season, when the day was over we found out the setup on the car was very poor and not in the direction we needed for a strong run. The ArmsUp Motorsports guys got to work, we adjusted it and went out for practice the next day. We immediately put ourselves into the top 5, which felt great after the previous session. In the end, although we got to where we needed, it was very disappointing as we had lost so much seat time to silly errors. In racing, there is always all the small things that go wrong, and it becomes even worse when it is out of your hands.

In qualifying we would make some adjustments that would go a bit too much in one direction and ended up 6th, but the car was still very strong. As race one started, I was speedster by the lead pack of cars. I worked my way up from P6 all the way to P4 to catch the leaders but ran out of laps to pass them, as the laps I ran were 0.5 seconds faster than anyone else. In the second race, everything was looking good, but it all ended straight away on lap one with contact from another car. It was a disappointing way to end the 2014 race season, one that had already been filled with bad luck. It was always up and down, with us never really getting a chance to show ourselves, but now we have to look to next year.

Next year brings its own set of challenges.  First and foremost is raising a budget to go racing. Especially in racing where I don’t think I know one driver that doesn’t come from the top of society. But that’s how it goes, racing, the only sport where talent doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed anything. However, when I make, it won’t have anything to do with financial backing. I’d like to thank ArmsUp Motorsports for pushing on through all of the ups and downs and for giving me a chance this season. It wasn’t easy, but we made it through.

Peter Portante gets ready to turn the quickest lap in Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda race #1 at Sonoma Raceway.  (Photo Courtesy of Andersen Promotions)

Peter Portante gets ready to turn the quickest lap in Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda race #1 at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo Courtesy of Andersen Promotions)

Some of Peter’s season stats:

  • points –> 6th
  • podiums –> 2
  • top 10’s –> 8
  • average starting position –> 7.6
  • average finishing position –> 9.3
  • percent of laps complete –> 86.3%

I’d like to thank Peter for agreeing to share a little bit of himself on The-Set-Up Sheet.  I hope you all caught a glimpse of his personality and what a great sense of humor he has.

…and he’s a pretty darn fine shoe too.

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Posted in IndyCar

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