Nikita Lastochkin will return to Cape Motorsports as the team's first confirmed driver for the 2018 Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires campaign. The Russian-born MRTI veteran, who competed as a rookie in Pro Mazda for Team Pelfrey, raced for Cape Motorsports's championship-winning USF2000 program in 2016.
“We are very excited to have Nikita return to our team for 2018,” said team owners Nicholas and Dominic Cape in a release. “Nikita has gone well at all the tests we have done, and we're looking for big things from him next year. He will play an intricate role in our 2018 assault on the championship.”
Lastochkin finished eighth in the 2016 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda alongside Anthony Martin and Parker Thompson. He scored a consistent 11 top-10 finishes that year, with a season-high finish of fifth at Barber Motorsports Park. Last year, Lastochkin competed in the Pro Mazda category and finished fifth in the championship, posting eight top-five finishes during the 12-race schedule. The Los Angeles resident was at his best at Road America, scoring a pair of podium finishes.
“I am very happy to be able to join Cape Motorsports and to work with Dominic and Nicholas again,” Lastochkin said. “We had a great test together and I am excited to be back with them. Everyone on the team is dedicated to success and to be a part of that process is a real pleasure.”
Cape Motorsports is planning to run a trio of new Tatuus PM-18s on the second level of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires next season.