Louis Foster scored a race win, two podiums, two pole positions and a fastest lap to extend his lead in the Indy Pro 2000 Championship at Mid-Ohio.
Exclusive Autosport driver Foster has worked tirelessly with his Exclusive Autosport team this year to understand the Indy Pro 2000 Cooper Tire which is different to anything Foster has used before. The evidence of this work came in qualifying where Foster took his first pole position this year and then followed it up with a second pole to match. In race one, despite two caution periods backing up the field and erasing any gap Foster had built, he pulled away again on both occasions and won by an incredible 14.6 seconds in a 12-lap race. Foster was passed on the first lap of the second race - it was only his second rolling start from pole and a small timing error cost him - but it’s vital learning for a driver used to standing starts. He never fell more than 0.7s behind the leader but despite repeated attempts to pass, Foster elected not to risk a strong points finish and protected a second place that could be crucial when the points are tallied up at the end of the season.
“Great to qualify on pole twice, I definitely feel like we’ve got a hang of the tyre now, I feel more comfortable and confident in what I’m doing and how I’ve changed my driving to suit the tyre better, to be a bit less aggressive,” said Foster, who is backed by Copart, a global leader in online auto auctions, and Florida-based luxury Italian garden umbrella brand Poggesi.
“The first race I got the lead and just pushed, a bit of defending through the first two corners and then the restarts. But once I got into the rhythm I just kept pushing. I cooled the tyres after getting a good lead and then went for fastest lap, which we got. Race one was great!
“Race two, I got overtaken around the outside at Turn 1. The start was a bit messy.
“The rest of the race I was just trying to force him into a mistake but I wasn’t going to attempt a stupid move and risk the points that were there for the taking.
“Obviously I’m disappointed, I think I should have done better at the start then most likely I would have had a similar situation to race one.
"But all in all, P1, P2, can’t complain too much!”
He now leaves Mid-Ohio with 12 races complete and with six remaining at three race tracks to conclude the season. The Mid-Ohio weekend allowed Foster to stretch his gap from 19 to 49 points, more than a race victory, as the series heads to Toronto in less than a fortnight.
“We have to be extremely happy with what we achieved at Mid-Ohio,”
“The work the team have been doing is extraordinary and we’re delivering on the pace and results we knew we could when we decided to work together for this season."
“We’ve put ourselves in a nice position, but there’s plenty of racing left and an oval which offers more points than the road courses."
"So it’s nowhere near over yet and we have to redouble our efforts if we’re going to stay where we are in the points.
“A massive thanks to the team and my sponsors who have kept us racing and in a position to capitalise on the success we’re achieving. The focus now is keeping that up.”
Foster heads to Toronto for July 16-17, then to the St Louis Gateway oval on August 20 and concludes the season at Portland in Oregon on September 2-4.