Brabham Caps off Season with Win Number 13 at Houston
 October 6, 2013| 
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Houston, Texas – Matthew Brabham’s sensational debut season in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires came to a close today with another dominant performance on the streets of Houston. Brabham made a clean sweep of the pair of Allied Building Products Grand Prix of Houston races on the temporary street circuit to set new milestones in the series, ending  with records for most wins (13), most podiums (15) and most fastest laps (13) in a single season.

Brabham did not always make it easy on himself. Starting as far back as eighth at St. Petersburg – his worse starting position – he proved that he and his championship-winning Andretti Autosport team were up to any challenges.

Tonight Brabham will be presented with his Mazda Road to Indy champion’s prize package of a scholarship from Mazda worth over $636,000 to advance to Indy Lights competition next year. Brabham is the first driver to advance in succession on the ladder from the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda to Pro Mazda and now Indy Lights.

Brabham started on pole and drove off into the distance, at one time amassing a gap of over six seconds. Nicolas Costa, who started fourth, continued to impress with Team Pelfrey claiming back to back podiums this weekend with a second-place drive today. Juan Piedrahita of JDC MotorSports rounded out the podium – his fifth of the year – after starting fifth.

With his sixth-place finish today, Shelby Blackstock of Andretti Autosport secured third in the final standings.

Jay Horak of M1 Racing picked up his second win today to take the Expert Class championship title with M1 Racing.

Contingency awards included the Staubli Award and Quarter Master Hard Charger Award which went to Michele Bumgarner of World Speed Motorsports – making her debut with World Speed Motorsports this season in the #6 Mazda Philippines entry - for a gain of four positions, and the PFC Award to the winning team of Andretti Autosport.

Matthew Brabham, #83 MAZDASPEED/AFS Racing/Team Andretti Autosport (Andretti Autosport) – First: “Today was great. It is so important to get those first few laps really down. I managed to get good restarts and it looked like the guys behind me were battling all the time so it was lucky for me to get that little break. My season with Andretti has been incredible. We got along really well instantly at the start of the season. I can’t describe the job they have done this year. Every single session, we have been 100 percent on top of our game and it translated into results. I can’t thank them enough. It was such a fun year. I have to thank all the people who supported me. Mazda, especially, have been wonderful to me these last couple of years and I am looking forward to continuing on the Mazda Road to Indy. I am very thankful for the opportunity that they have given me.”

Nicolas Costa, #82 Pelfrey Performance/ Mkt. (Team Pelfrey) – Second: “All of the restarts and even the start was pretty crazy. If you don’t overtake, you get overtaken by somebody and that’s what happened at the start for me. Juan overtook me and also Diego [Ferreira]. After that, I knew I had to be really aggressive on all the restarts otherwise I would just drop and drop and that is what I tried to do. My car was really good again. I have to thank Team Pelfrey and all of my sponsors and everybody that supports me. I am over the moon to be on the podium again and to be able to charge from the back is great. It’s also fun to have such great battles on the race track with everyone being clean with each other and respecting their space.”

Juan Piedrahita, #9 Petrosur/Sisoclec/GFK Motors/Red Line Oil (JDC MotorSports) – Third: “We have been pretty strong this weekend and we were actually pretty close to Matthew in practice, so we were happy and confident. We had issues in qualifying and Race 1 didn’t go the way we wanted. I came today and wanted to finish the season on the podium. I had a rocket ship. The guys gave me a really fast car. I just had to be good on the restarts and that’s what I did and I am really happy to be here.”

Jay Horak, #37 AutoEnginuity (M1 Racing) – First Expert: “I found three seconds in 14 hours for the race today and there was a lot left in there. I passed a couple of cars and there was one lap left where I thought I could get another one and, with too many yellows, I couldn’t get it done. It was nice to charge and try to get in the middle of the pack and get some good racing. The IndyCars laid down a lot of good rubber and we could even use a little bit more of the curbing. I was more courageous on the exits. I found grip there that yesterday we wouldn’t have found. I am really glad to win the championship. We had a couple of chances before but a technical or mechanical issue locked me out. It’s nice to get a podium and the championship to cap off the season.”
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