It was the second event weekend in the USF Pro Championship presented by Cooper Tires ladder program as teams and competitors from all three series descended on the bumpy Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Canadian youngster and Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD) driver Louka St-Jean entered the weekend for his second USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires event as he looked to reset his career-best finishes in the growing program in only his second race weekend of 2023.
Qualifying proved to be a disaster for the young French Canadian as the already short session was even shorter for St-Jean due to a spin on a track that caused a red-flag. With the rules stating that the driver causing a red flag during qualifying will receive a penalty for the loss of his/her fastest lap, St-Jean was forced to line up shotgun on the field with the goal to drive forward in race one Saturday afternoon.
Rolling off the grid 19th, St-Jean’s goal was to stay out of trouble, gain experience, and move forward in the short 12-lap round three. With goals set, St-Jean accomplished everything he set out to do including an 11th-place result, an eight-position gain from the green flag to the checkered flag scoring his fastest lap of the race on lap ten to build momentum into Sunday.
With a second qualifying session Sunday morning that set the grid for round four of the season, race two of the weekend, St-Jean piloted his #9 Planiform-backed entry to a 14th place result in qualifying but proved to have much more speed once wheel-to-wheel action commenced.
Rocketing forward from the outside of row seven, St-Jean quickly found himself inside the top-ten in his strongest race of the season. Continuing to move forward, the young French Canadian moved into the top-eight, and then into the top-six as he looked for his career-best result before a late race incident forced him to the sidelines.
St-Jean continued, “It was definitely the best run of the year for the Planiform Jay Howard Driver Development entry. Disappointing that it had to end early in something that was no fault of my own, but I will take the experience and carry the speed and momentum into the next one, despite the nearly six-week wait.”
Louka St-Jean will continue his 2023 journey in the USF2000 presented by Cooper Tires season on the 14-turn, 2.4-mile circuit Grand Prix Circuit of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May.
Stay tuned to the Louka St-Jean Racing social media pages for all the news, photos, and results throughout the 2023 season.
Photo: RTD Media