Spencer Pigot Finishes Second in Strong Pro Mazda Debut at COTA
AUSTIN, Texas (March 3, 2013) – American open-wheel rising star Spencer Pigot produced an impressive performance to finish second on his debut in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at Circuit of the Americas on Friday afternoon. His hopes of another strong finish in Saturday's Race 2 were unfortunately scuppered when he was taken out in a multi-car accident at the first corner, but the 19-year-old from Orlando, Fla., still took a lot of positives from the weekend.
"It was great to finish on the podium in my first Pro Mazda race," said Pigot (photo please credit Ron Bijlsma), who also set the fastest lap of the entire weekend, 2m02.618s, during practice on Friday morning. "The team did a great job and the whole facility here at Circuit of The Americas is just fantastic. It was pretty cool to step out onto the podium of a proper Formula 1 track."
Pigot, who has stepped up to Team Pelfrey's Pro Mazda team after winning eight times last year in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Series as a Team Pelfrey Development Driver, overcame some difficulties during preevent testing to qualify third fastest for Race 1 aboard the No. 81 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/Gap Guard/ Parathyroid.com /California Scents/OMP entry. His time of 2m03.181s, for an average speed of 99.366mph, was a minuscule 0.060s slower than Venezuelan pole-sitter Diego Ferreira who already had an entire season of Pro Mazda under his belt.
A messy start to the first race saw Pigot shuffled back to seventh place at the exit of the first corner. The youngster then displayed his maturity by quickly moving up to third place, then closed down a 3.5-second deficit to former USF2000 rival (and fellow Team USA Scholarship winner) Matt Brabham before making an incisive pass for second place with three laps remaining in the 12-lap race around the imposing 3.41-mile 20-turn track.
"The start wasn't great," admitted Pigot. "I fell back quite a long way but I just had to keep my head down and work my way back up. The car was really good, especially at the end because we were making up a lot of time on the leaders."
Pigot posted the second-fastest lap of the race, just 0.013s slower than race winner Ferreira, to ensure himself a position on the outside of the front row for Saturday's Race 2. This time Lady Luck wasn't on his side, finding himself pinched by two cars on the exit of Turn One and ending his day immediately due to broken suspension. "Race 2 was unfortunate but that's how things go sometimes," summarized Pigot. "I'm really happy with the way everything went. The whole team has come together really well and we learned a lot this week in Texas. We were a bit behind in terms of how many tests we've done, compared to the other teams, but we showed that we have quite a lot of pace so I think we're looking quite good for the season.
"I'm so grateful to everyone who has put me in this position. Dale Pelfrey has put his trust in me and I'm excited for the season ahead. I have quite a few other supporters, too, including Doug Mockett & Company, Parathyroid.com, Mazda and OMP, and everyone at Team Pelfrey. I wouldn't be here without all of them."
Pigot and Team Pelfrey will return to action for Rounds 3 and 4 in support of the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 23/24.
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