It was another podium-winning weekend for Jay Howard Driver Development (JHDD) driver Evagoras Papasavvas as he found his way to the third step of the podium during round three of the USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires season this past weekend. Taking on the Sebring International Raceway, it was a two-day event, the shortest of the season, that packed two races, two qualifying sessions, and one practice over a short 36-hour period.
It was a short weekend and Papasavvas would need to get up to speed quick to ensure his presence was felt at the front of the field. With several successful tests at the Sebring Raceway over the offseason, the Ohio resident entered the weekend with confidence and momentum from his second and fourth-place finishes from the Streets of St. Petersburg. With only one practice session before qualifying and the first wheel-to-wheel action on Saturday, Papasavvas’ focus was on the timed session that would set the grid for race one with passing opportunities at a premium once race action began.
It was a fifth-place qualifying effort for the JHDD driver and an inside row three starting spot for the first race of the weekend as Papasavvas, currently fourth in the championship point standings, would aim to move forward from there. After a great start, and some veteran defending of his position when he needed to, Evagoras drove his #6 machine forward to cross the line in P3, earning his second podium result in the first three races of 2023 and asserting himself as a true championship competitor.
“It is great to kick off the first race race of the weekend with a podium but there is no letting up now,” expressed Papasavvas. “We have another qualifying session and race tomorrow and while podiums are great, I am hungry for that race win more than ever.”
Returning to the track Sunday, Papasavvas had a disappointing qualifying session that saw him clock only the eighth fastest lap time. Uncharacteristic of his season to date, Papasavvas was determined to rebound in the race, drive forward, and look to continue his podium streak.
With contact mixing up the running order early on, the JHDD driver was able to stay out of trouble and make moves toward the front. Moving into the top-five early on and then in a podium position where he ran a lot of the race, Papasavvas battled to hold on to his P3 sport through the opening complex of corners before contact sent him spinning through the infield. With the yellow flag flying, Papasavvas was able to get back on track only losing three positions to get back in line P6 in the running order. With minor damage due to contact and a two-lap shootout to the end, Papasavvas lost a pair of positions over the final few laps to cross the line eighth to earn a pair of top-ten results on the weekend.
Following the event weekend, Evagoras leaves the Sebring International Raceway sitting third in the USF2000 Presented by Cooper Tires Championship standings with eyes to better that placement in Indy in six weeks time.
Papasavvas will continue his 2023 season in USF2000 presented by Cooper Tires season on the 14-turn, 2.4-mile Grand Prix Circuit of the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the month of May.
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.
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Photo: RTD Media