Team Pelfrey Enjoys Positive Pro Mazda Test at Barber Motorsports Park
 December 10, 2013| 
  • Team News
CLEARWATER, Fla. (December 10, 2013) – The timing charts might not reflect it but Team Pelfrey has completed a productive two-day Chris Griffis Memorial Road to Indy Test at Barber Motorsports Park. The team, along with new drivers Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani and Dalton Kellett, will go into the winter break with entirely positive thoughts as preparations continue for the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

Derani, 20, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, who has competed in this year’s FIA European F3 Championship and finished a strong third at the recent Macau Grand Prix, posted the third fastest time on Monday afternoon and was turning lap times within a few tenths of the leaders in this morning’s faster conditions before encountering some engine ancillary issues. Unfortunately, the problems persisted in the afternoon and prevented him from recording a representative time.

Teammate Kellett, 20, from Stouffville, Ont., Canada, also encountered some mechanical problems on Monday but logged some useful laps in a variety of weather conditions before skipping the second test day and returning to Canada for some important exams as he continues his engineering physics studies at Queen’s University in Kingston.

“We had a really good test,” said Team Pelfrey Team Manager Nigel Tuckey. “It was a good run through for the crew, and when we were running, we were quick. It was very positive and everything worked well, and now we go away and have a chance to think about it and tweak a few things and get ready for next season.”

The next official outing for Team Pelfrey will be the pre-season Cooper Tires Winterfest in February which will comprise two races at NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, La., followed by another pair of races at Barber Motorsports Park. The “regular season” will commence in support of the IndyCar Series on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 29/30.

Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani (#81 Team Pelfrey/Alan Lewis Consulting): “I think it went really well. We were one of the only cars running the new, narrower front tires but I think we did pretty well. Unfortunately, we had a mechanical problem which didn’t allow us to run in the final session, which was frustrating, but overall in the same conditions we showed that we are really quick. In the morning we didn’t run new tires and the others did, so I think when we had the same tires we were quick, so overall it was a good first test.”

Dalton Kellett (#82 Pelfrey Performance/K-Line Insulators USA, Inc.): “The test started off quite well. It was pouring rain when I got here the previous night for a seat fitting and it was still raining when we went out for the first session, but we were among the top five on wet tires so it felt good. I’ve been doing exams for the past week so it was pretty hard to switch from school mode to racing mode, but I’m pretty happy with how it went. I like the team structure with Anders (Krohn) doing debriefs and driver-coaching and all that. The way they were using data and video was very effective in terms of seeing what we need to do to improve, so I’m looking forward to working with the team as we get ready for next season..”

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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