Teenage karting sensation Kyffin Simpson stunned competitors at two tracks last week as the 16-year-old Grand Cayman-based speedster continued his amazing progress.
He impressed on his debut race at the Indy Pro 2000 Championship for Juncos Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Then Simpson mesmerised with two wins for TJ Speed Motorsports in the FR Americas Championship.
As series schedules lined up perfectly, Simpson competed back- to-back, totalling over eight hours at the wheel including all practice, qualifying and race sessions. His weekend began at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Indy Pro 2000 formed part of the ‘Road to Indy’s IndyCar support roster at the GMR Indy Grand Prix.
Friday morning brought the only qualifying session of the Indy GP weekend. Simpson recorded his fastest lap of the season so far to line up fourth on the highly competitive Indy Pro 2000 grid.
Round 5 of the series began just a few hours later, and Simpson recovered from a sluggish getaway to fight for third place in the closing stages, re-passing two cars in the process to eventually settle for fourth at the flag.
Saturday brought Rounds 6 and 7, and Simpson rose to the occasion. As the green flag fell, the #21 car avoided incidents ahead to emerge as the race leader before battling hard for the remaining laps. He finished a plucky third overall.
Starting fifth for the final race, Simpson again fought for position in a tightly contested race around the Indianapolis Road Course. He eventually finished an impressive sixth.
Simpson said: “It was a great weekend and a great experience to be at Indy for the first time. It was even better to be able to podium at such a historic track. I was also very happy with my performance having all top six finishes after a tough first couple of rounds.”
Juncos Racing Team owner Ricardo Juncos said: “It was amazing to see Kyffin earn his first podium in the Indy Pro 2000, after only five races.”
After seven of 18 rounds completed in Indy Pro 2000, Simpson is ninth overall with 88 points, gaining five spots over his previous position.
With little time to celebrate, Simpson travelled to the Road America circuit near Elkhart Lake Wisconsin to continue his FR Americas title challenge, beginning his first practice session on Saturday afternoon having competed at Indianapolis just hours earlier.
Sunday morning brought qualifying and Simpson, despite having never driven at Road America prior to the previous day’s quick warm-up, came agonisingly close to securing pole position in his TJ Speed machine.
Simpson stalled the #21 Ligier at the start, demoting him to last place and several seconds off the car ahead. Skilfully, he deployed electric pace to set the fastest lap of the race, charging through to fifth overall, securing pole position for race two in the process.
Getting away cleanly at the start of race two, Kyffin never looked back to claim a lights-to-flag victory and his fourth of the season so far despite fellow championship contender Joshua Car applying pressure throughout.
Following a clean start in the second race, Car and Simpson set a blazing pace which left the remaining pack way behind. Roles were now reversed with Car under pressure from Simpson, and as the white flag waved for the final lap Kyffin’s relentless chase paid off. Car spun with a handful of corners to go, rewarding Simpson with victory number five of six races.
Simpson said: “It was an amazing weekend, one that I was not sure I was ready for the challenge of, but I went into it the same way I would any other weekend and did my best. It was a huge learning curve. I’m very happy with my best Indy Pro results, as well as two wins in Formula Regional. After this weekend my main takeaway is that as long as I keep my head down and focus on doing my best, I will come out on top.”
Extending his lead in the FR Americas standings, Simpson has 137 points, 72 clear of second-placed Car, the 2019 F4 US champion.
Simpson races at the Indy Pro 2000 Championship this weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway in Clermont, Indiana.
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