All Three Mazda Road to Indy Series Head to Indianapolis
 May 7, 2014| 
  • Series News
Palmetto, Fla. - The reconfigured Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course drew rave reviews last week when the Verizon IndyCar Series teams tested for the first time on the challenging new 2.439-mile, 14-turn layout in preparation for the upcoming inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis. The next generation of IndyCar Series stars will have their own opportunity to join in the fun this week as competitors on all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy - the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires - will be on hand for two races of their own on May 9/10.

Indy Lights cars competed on an earlier version of the Indianapolis road course from 2005 to 2007, but this week will mark the first time either Pro Mazda or USF2000 cars have raced at the venue, previously having only turned laps during the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy tests in 2011 and 2012.

Spencer Pigot Seeks to Maintain his 100 Percent Record in Pro Mazda
Twenty-year-old Spencer Pigot has taken this year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by storm. After winning the preseason Cooper Tires Winterfest mini-series in dominant fashion, Pigot has proceeded to claim a maximum possible 130 points from the opening two double-headers of the "regular season" at St. Petersburg, Fla., and Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala., with the #7 Doug Mockett & Company/Rising Star Racing/Vitamin-D Pro App/California Scents entry fielded by Juncos Racing. 

But there will be no shortage of potential challengers to Pigot's early season dominance at this week's Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Juncos Racing teammate Kyle Kaiser (#18 InterVision/NetApp/Juniper Networks/Riverbed) finished second in the first two races, while last year's USF2000 champion Scott Hargrove (#3 MAZDASPEED/Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Metal Action Machining) mirrored that feat in the two most recent races.

Hargrove, from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, has stepped up from USF2000 with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, which, unsurprisingly, has not taken long to challenge the perennial Pro Mazda front-runners. Teammate Neil Alberico (#2 Bondurant School/eFormulaCarNews.com/J&M Trophy/SAFEisFAST.com), who won more races than any other competitor last year in USF2000, also showed good pace at Barber.

Other potential front-runners will include the Andretti Autosport pairing of Shelby Blackstock, from Nashville, Tenn., and Garett Grist, from Grimsby, Ont., Canada; Formula 3 veteran Pipo Derani (Team Pelfrey), from Brazil; and Indianapolis-born teammate Brandon Newey, who has every intention of using his local knowledge to its fullest effect. Watch out, too, for the remarkable Michael Johnson, 21, from Flint, Mich., who already has shown prodigious pace for JDC MotorSports, despite the fact he drives with hand controls after being paralyzed from the chest down following a motorcycle crash in 2005.

The Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend will commence with a pair of one-hour sessions during the Promoter Test Day on Wednesday, May 7, followed on Thursday by a pair of practice sessions at noon and 3:45 p.m. Qualifying will take place at noon on Friday and Race One will start later in the afternoon at 4:30. The green flag for Race Two will fly at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, May 10.

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