It was a trip to Toronto for the second to last event weekend in the USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires. Ohio resident Evagoras Papasavvas was set for his second career start in Toronto with the Jay Howard Driver Development and utilized some track knowledge to his benefit. Taking on the 1.786-mile, 11-turn temporary circuit, Evagoras added a pair of top-ten results after overcoming some adversity in both wheel-to-wheel races.
With only one practice on Friday morning, Evagoras utilized the momentum that was on his side to show his prowess when the USF2000 drivers hit the track. Flexing his muscles in the first qualifying session, Papasavvas drove to the pole position for race one as he dominated to take the top spot by nearly three-tenths of a second. Returning to the track Saturday morning for qualifying two that would set the grid for Sunday morning’s affair, Papasavvas continued his front-of-the-field presence clocking the second fastest lap of the session to add another front-row starting spot.
“Awesome start here in Toronto,” expressed Evagoras. “To be the quickest driver in practice, earn the pole position for race one, and a front row starting spot for race two is incredible. I hope I can convert the pace we have shown into some podium results or a race win both this afternoon and tomorrow.”
With rain moving into the area that halted the USF Pro 2000 race to allow competitors to switch to wet weather Cooper Tires, the USF2000 drivers were next on the schedule and began the changeover. With limited time to put a wet weather setup on the car as the rain intensified, the JHDD crew went to work to provide Evagoras with the best possible car. Taking the green from the pole position, Papasavvas lost the lead on the initial start as the caution flag flew. With several drivers diving for the pits to switch back to slick tires, Papasavvas and JHDD made the decision to stay on track. With the green flag flying and the #6 car maintaining his position, it was obvious that the dry-weather tires were going to be a huge advantage as the race wore on.
Papasavvas continued, “The yellow flag came out again, and we made the decision to come to the pit lane to change tires. We lost a lot of track position to the drivers that had changed earlier, but it was the right call. Unfortunately, late in the race while running third I was involved in minor contact that damaged my front wing. With little downforce and struggling under braking, I was not able to maintain my position and eventually finished sixth. Back at it tomorrow.”
Back to the track Sunday and lining up in the second position, rain that fell overnight greeted teams and competitors with a wet track and a switch to the wet weather Cooper Tires. Starting second on the grid, the initial start was waved off due to a car spinning on the formation lap. When the race did go green, Papasavvas tried to take the lead in turn one. Attempting to go wide and around the current championship point leader, Simon Sikes, Evagoras dove down into the damp turn one and unfortunately locked the brakes after the tires made contact with a painted surface on the track sliding off and into the runoff. Rocketing his way up the running order, the JHDD #6 entry took advantage of some trouble in front of him, but also showed poise and speed as he made his way inside the top-ten to eventually finish in the seventh position.
Next up for Evagoras Papasavvas and the Jay Howard Driver Development program will be a trip to the West Coast for the final event of the 2023 season. With a triple-header event at the Portland International Raceway, Evagoras will look to finish his season strong over the August 31st to September 3rd weekend.
Evagoras Papasavvas would like to thank several new and returning partners for the 2023 season including Maison Mavrommatis, Attikouris Enterprises, BodyWise, Tiger Natural Gas, Ares Elite, D1 Cincinnati North, HLB Investments, and GutsWear.
For more information on Evagoras Papasavvas, please contact Nektarios Papasavvas via email to email@example.com or visit him online at www.EvagorasRacing.com. Be sure to follow Evagoras Papasavvas on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for news, results, information, and photos from the event. Find us by searching “Evagoras Papasavvas”.
Photos: RTD Media