Spencer Pigot Wins, Finishes Second to Lead Cooper Tires Winterfest for Juncos Racing
 February 23, 2014| 
  • Team News

NEW ORLEANS, LA. – Spencer Pigot laid down a marker this weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park. The talented young American racer dominated the opening round of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda with his new team, Juncos Racing, and went on to finish second in Race 2. Pigot now holds a 10-point lead in the four-race mini-series which will conclude with two more races at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, February 25/26.

The 20-year-old from Orlando, Fla., paced the opening practice session on Friday morning with the #7 Doug Mockett & Company/Rising Star Racing/Vitamin Pro App/California Scents/OMP entry. He then secured the pole starting position for Race 1 with a lap time three-tenths of a second clear of the field. Pigot completed the first lap a full two seconds clear of his nearest pursuer and extended his advantage with every lap before taking the checkered flag 11.266 seconds to the good.

Pigot looked set to complete his rout on Saturday. He was fastest in the morning practice session after making a few changes both to the car setup and his driving style, and lined up on the inside of the front row for the rolling start by virtue of setting the fastest lap during Race 1. After being caught unawares when his front row rival, Garett Grist, accelerated clear at the start, Pigot crossed the start/finish line in sixth place but immediately knuckled down to the task at hand and began to make up the lost ground.

He made it up to fourth place by the end of Lap 1, then dived incisively past last year’s USF2000 champion Scott Hargrove at Turn One on Lap 2 and immediately latched onto the tail of Brazilian Pipo Derani. The Formula 3 veteran put up a strong fight, resisting all Pigot’s attempts at a pass until just three corners from the finish line when the constant pressure paid off, Derani made a mistake, and Pigot sailed gratefully through into second place.

“It’s a difficult track to pass on with all the high-speed corners,” said Pigot. “It’s hard to get a good run because you just lose all the downforce when you get close to the car in front. I was right behind Pipo. He was driving aggressively, defensively – but nothing against the rules. It was nice, clean, hard racing and eventually he just made a bit of a mistake going into one of the final corners and I was able to sneak by.

“It was really an awesome first weekend with Juncos Racing. The guys were great and the car was really, really good right from the get-go. We made some fine-tuning throughout the weekend and we were fastest in every single session, so it’s hard to be disappointed with that. We had a dominant first win but (in) the second race we finished second. The start was a little messy. I just got caught out and ended up sixth by Turn One but was able to come back to second, so in the end I’m leading the points and happy with the weekend. The most important thing is that we gelled as a team and we’ve been improving the car, so we’re all very confident heading into Barber Motorsports Park and the rest of the season as well.”

Spencer Pigot, 20, won numerous state and national karting championships before moving to cars in 2009. He won the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Powered by Mazda, earning a MAZDASPEED Driver Development scholarship to contest the 2011 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Pigot finished second in the title-chase with three wins, four poles and a track record to his name, and won five of six races to claim the 2012 Cooper Tires Winterfest. He also finished second in the 2012 title-chase, winning eight of the 14 races. Pigot was awarded Team USA Scholarships both in 2010 and 2011, and this year has been invited to join the new Rising Stars Racing program, also designed to help fund deserving young drivers. His goal is to compete in the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Follow Spencer at www.spencerpigot.com or on Facebook (Spencer Pigot Racing) and Twitter (@spencerpigot).

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