Pigot Wins for Team Pelfrey at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
 July 21, 2013| 
  • Team News

BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada – Spencer Pigot and Team Pelfrey bounced back from a disappointing start to this year’s Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires to claim a convincing win yesterday at the fast and challenging Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

After struggling in practice, the team made some changes to Pigot’s car for qualifying which was held on a track still slightly damp from heavy overnight rain. Pigot found the car much more to his liking, jumping to the top of the timing charts early on and remaining there until Shelby Blackstock turned a lap merely 0.081 seconds faster. Moments later, the red flags flew after Kyle Kaiser crashed heavily in Turn Two. Unfortunately, the time allotted for qualifying elapsed before the session could be restarted, so Pigot, 19, from Orlando, Fla., had to be content with a position on the outside of the front row of the grid.

Blackstock took off into the lead at the start with Pigot glued to his tail. On Lap Two, Pigot grasped an opportunity to take the lead with an impressive pass in Turn Eight. He was beginning to edge clear, taking advantage of some infighting between Andretti teammates Blackstock and Matthew Brabham, when the race was neutralized following a hefty accident that befell Juan Piedrahita.
 
After a lengthy cleanup, Pigot once again took off in the lead for a five-lap dash to the checkers. Blackstock and Brabham continued to battle, exchanging positions several times, but Pigot managed to hold on – despite a slight slip of his own on the final lap – to take a well-earned victory by just 0.118 seconds over Blackstock.
 
Brazilian teammate Nicolas Costa, whose hopes in qualifying were stymied by the red flag, drove well to rise from ninth to fifth, while Dalton Kellett, from Stouffville, Ont., Canada, ran impressively on his Pro Mazda debut to run seventh before experiencing a rare mechanical problem in the closing stages.
 
Pigot started from the pole in this afternoon’s tenth round of the championship and led the first 11 laps before struggling with excessive oversteer. Pigot lost the lead on Lap 12 and was immediately passed also by Scott Anderson and Diego Ferreira. He had to be content with fourth.
 
Costa ran third a strong in the opening stages before tangling with series leader Matthew Brabham who had been attempting to pass. Both cars were eliminated in the accident. Kellett enjoyed another strong showing, running as high as fifth until making a slight error in Turn Four. He then made a pit stop after erroneously thinking he saw an oil pressure warning on his car’s dashboard. He returned to the fray in eighth and displayed his potential by posting the fourth fastest race lap.
 
The Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will reconvene in two weeks’ time in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on August 3-4.
 
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID:

Spencer Pigot (#81 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/Gap Guard/Parathyroid.com/California Scents/OMP) – Round 9: started second, finished first; Round 10: started first, finished fourth: “We’ve been working really hard this year and we’ve been making a lot of improvements so it was great to be able to get the win for the team – the first of the year – and hopefully we’ll be able to get a few more. We struggled a little bit in the second race. In the beginning the car was good and then we just really struggled with the back end, the rear grip. The car was sliding around a lot, and it’s so close up at the front that when the car isn’t just right, it’s hard to keep the lead and I fell back to fourth, but overall it was a good weekend.”
 
Nicolas Costa (#82 Pelfrey Performance/www.GetGapGuard.com/Alufama/Inova Mkt.) – Race One, started ninth, finished fifth; Race Two, started third, finished 10th: “The car was really good in both races but I guess just luck wasn’t on our side this time. In qualifying we had a red flag; I didn’t manage to put my new tires on so I had to start ninth and we had just six green-flag laps so I didn’t have much time to move forward. I managed to finish fifth, which was not really good but not that bad when you see how many laps we had. In Race Two I felt I could win it. The car was really good. I felt I was faster than the two guys in front, and it was just a misfortune, I think, that accident with Brabham. I think it was a racing accident, but unfortunately it ended both of our races. It wasn’t the weekend I was hoping for and it’s frustrating because the speed was there, the car was really good, and I felt like I could do a good job. But there’s always next weekend; we’re going to come back stronger and get some great results.”
 
Dalton Kellett (#80 K-Line Insulators/www.GetGapGuard.com/Pelfrey Performance) – Race One, started sixth, finished 10th; Race Two, started eighth, finished eighth: “I would say as a learning experience it was very good. Obviously, the results didn’t show what could have happened and I might have let myself down a little bit in that last race because I made a mistake in Turn Three, but definitely in terms of getting comfortable with the car and getting to know everybody at Team Pelfrey, I’m very happy.”
 
ABOUT TEAM PELFREY:
Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in the St. Petersburg, Fla., area, is built upon the same principles he used 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IZOD IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship.

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