Andretti Autosport dominates USF2000 Winterfest
Zach Veach, driver of the #7 Team Zakosi Data Backup car for Andretti Autosport, clinched the first-ever USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest championship title after winning two races and securing two additional podium finishes during the series, as well as three pole awards.
Veach's teammate and newcomer Spencer Pigot took a second place finish in the championship with two race wins and two podium finishes during the Winterfest. Pigot, MAZDASPEED motorsports development driver and driver of the #8 Team Andretti Autosport car, also earned two pole positions throughout the series.
This championship win marks Andretti Autosport's second USF2000 championship title in the span of one year. Andretti Autosport driver Sage Karam won the 2010 USF2000 driver championship title and, along with Veach, helped the team capture the team title. Karam has now advanced to the Star Mazda Championship series with Andretti Autosport as a part of INDYCAR's 'Mazda Road to Indy' development program.
The Cooper Tires Winterfest, organized by the 'Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda,' took teams and drivers to Sebring International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway for a two-event, five-race winter series.
Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the USF2000 National Championship, presented by Cooper Racing Tires and powered by Mazda, is one of two series part of both the INDYCAR's 'Mazda Road to Indy' ladder system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver program. The 2011 USF2000 season will begin with a double-header at Sebring International Raceway on March 17.
MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
"I'm really proud of the job Zach has done and the progress he has made since he's joined the team. He's such a great kid, and I'm so proud of both him and Spencer. I think Spencer is showing incredible promise for the future with the team. For it only being his first time in the car and then getting second in the championship, it's pretty great. I'm very excited for the upcoming season in the USF2000 series."
J-F THORMANN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
"We're very excited to have finished one-two in the championship. To have dominated with a total of five poles and four race wins was really exciting. Zach and Spencer did a marvelous job working together and working with the team to bring home the first Cooper Tires Winterfest championship and bring Andretti Autosport our second USF2000 championship. We're looking forward to the full season and even better things to come."
SPENCER PIGOT, DRIVER, #8 TEAM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CAR:
"It was good to end the Winterfest on a high note. It's been a great few events with Andretti Autosport. We struggled a bit during practice and the first race. We were able to make a few changes and fix the car for the final race to pull out a strong lead and win. A big thanks to everyone at Cooper Tires and Mazda. I'm really looking forward to getting into the full season in March."
ZACH VEACH, DRIVER, #7 TEAM ZAKOSI DATA BACKUP CAR
"It's an honor to be the first champion in the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest along with getting my first two wins in the series. I'm really excited to see what we can do with the Zakosi Data Backup car in the main season and go for that championship as well. We have some stuff to work on when we get home between now and the first in-season race at Sebring, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish. I can't thank my team, Andretti Autosport, enough for giving me a good car, my crew for working so hard and to Mazda and Cooper Tires for putting on this winter series."