Team Pelfrey's Telitz Ties Championship Lead With O’Ward
 July 18, 2016| 
  • Team News
TORONTO – With the season winding down, Team Pelfrey’s Aaron Telitz swept the Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Toronto weekend and is now tied for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires points lead with teammate Pato O’Ward. It was a weekend full of excellent driving and consistency amongst the team’s driver trio of Telitz, O’Ward and TJ Fischer.
Friday’s practice sessions at the revamped 1.75-mile, 11-turn street circuit were valuable in navigating the newly constructed Turns 9-11 complex. The final turn plagued multiple competitors, which put an emphasis on consistency and technique through the final sector. Telitz and Pro Mazda Championship points leader and teammate Pato O’Ward paced the practice sessions, with Team Pelfrey Pro Mazda newcomer Fischer slotting in the 4thposition in session two.
On Saturday, Telitz and O’Ward claimed 1st and 2nd place respectively giving way to an all Team Pelfrey front row with teammate Fischer slotted at the tail end of the field after suffering contact early in the morning’s qualification session. After a 10-hour wait, the drivers took to the green flag at 5:20 p.m. ET with Telitz and O’Ward in first and second place going into turn one. Setting up for the long back straight away on Lake Shore Blvd., O’Ward was involved in wheel-to-wheel contact with Nico Jamin and suffered race ending suspension damage. From there Telitz took control of the race, leading flag-to-flag. Fischer had an inspired run through the field to finish 6th, progressing with every lap on track.
Sunday’s Race Two action was intense. With the championship margin down to a mere 5points both O’Ward and Telitz were determined to gain an edge going into the penultimate Mazda Road to Indy race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
With Telitz on pole and O’Ward alongside, the green flag dropped with Telitz powering to five car gap coming out of the first two corners. O’Ward dropped to 5th after a poor launch but fought back to pass the Juncos Racing cars of Jake Parsons and Will Owen in the following laps. Telitz’s lead over Jamin accumulated to over four seconds before O’Ward began his charge for the second position. O’Ward caught Jamin with 30-minutes remaining, setting up a Team Pelfrey battle for the top spot.

24-year-old Birchwood, Wisc. -native Telitz never faltered, however. He grew his lead to a 5.8 second gap over O’Ward. With the lead in hand, his new focus was setting the fastest lap of the race to capture the ever important bonus point. With 11-minutes remaining and 23 laps on his Cooper Tires, Telitz set the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of 1 minute and 10.773 seconds, going faster than his qualifying time.

Telitz captured his 5th win of the season and his 4th in a row, sweeping the Road America and Toronto weekends. O’Ward finished second-place and Fischer finished in sixth after a last lap pass in turn three, getting by Jorge Cevallos.
With the results by Telitz, the Pro Mazda Championship points standings are all tied up with teammate Pato O’Ward. The penultimate round of the Mazda Road to Indy takes place at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. You can follow the weekend coverage on social media, @TeamPelfrey and with live video via the Road to Indy TV app and RoadtoIndy.TV.
Pato O’Ward (No. 80 Gap Guard Team Pelfrey Mazda) on this weekend’s performance: “It wasn’t the weekend I was hoping for, but my fight for second in Race Two was big. This points race just got a bit tighter but I’m not worried. I know what I have to do to win this championship and I think my experience will pay off at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca.”
TJ Fischer (No. 81 Rathbun Associates Team Pelfrey Mazda): “This course was really challenging but rewarding. I really saw progression this weekend and I’m getting more comfortable with the car with each session. My pass against Cevallos on the last lap of Race Two was big. To know that I can keep pushing the car and myself further and further really gets me motivated to get back in the car at Mid-Ohio.”
Aaron Telitz (No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems Team Pelfrey Mazda): “What a weekend for the team. I’m so pumped with the car and the team. We brought home both pole positions, fastest laps, laps led and race wins. Four in a row is great, but to be tied for the points lead with Pato is what I’m gunning for. The deficit is cut and we’re going to battle it out at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca.”

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