Pigot Extends Championship Lead with Dominant Victory at Mid-Ohio
Spencer Pigot took full advantage of a “gifted” pole position to score a clear victory this afternoon in an action-packed Mid-Ohio Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building products at the scenic and challenging Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., now has won five consecutive races with the #2 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/E-merging Technologies/Parathyroid.com/California Scents Mazda Van Diemen and holds a 17-point lead over teammate Matthew Brabham in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
Brabham had posted the fastest lap in qualifying this morning in his #83 DTE Group car, for the fourth time in his rookie campaign. Unfortunately, his lap times were disallowed because he was running a set of tires that had not been nominated for competition, so he was banished to the rear of the 30-car starting field. Undaunted, Brabham mounted a sensational drive to finish in third place and keep his championship aspirations well and truly alive.
Pigot’s inherited pole, his second of the year, was a new lap record of 1:20.397 (101.108mph), and he never looked back in the 20-lap feature. His eventual margin of victory was 1.890 seconds. Pigot set the race’s fastest lap for good measure, earning an additional championship point and ensuring he will start tomorrow morning’s Race 2 from pole position.
Trent Hindman (#3 Premier Woodcraft/Zydro+/DFL Construction/RaceLite Protection/Skip Barber Racing School/Sparco) held second place during the early stages in the third Cape Motorsports entry, but relinquished that position to a charging Scott Anderson, driving the #14 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Neuropathy Testing Center/Laser Centers entry for Belardi Auto Racing, shortly after a full-course caution when Thomas McGregor (#7 Dairy Queen/Exclusive Management/Andretti Autosport) slid off the road in Turn Five while embroiled in a multi-car battle for fifth place.
Anderson solidified his career-best second-place finish – and third top-five result – while Brabham, who had moved up inside the top 10 by Lap 6, continued his magnificent recovery by passing Hindman for third with three laps remaining.
Roman Lagudi (#4 Champion Stone/Tool and Supply/High Performance Distributors/Belardi Auto Racing) extended his streak of top-five finishes to six following a race-long battle with Shelby Blackstock (#8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport).
The battle for National Class honors saw 15-year-old RC Enerson (#10 Patriot Bank/Team E/ ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing), who started on pole also with a new track record, overcome a sluggish start to pass Scott Rettich (#71 PDI Communication Systems/Springboro Car Wash/Alliance Autosport) and early pace-setter Henrik Furuseth (#32 Palfinger/Akrene Mek Verksted/Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) to claim his third consecutive win and take the lead in the point standings by a slender one-point margin.
Contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, which was claimed by Brabham; the PFC Award for the winning car owner, which was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing; and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, which was presented to Dalton Kellett (#5 K-Line Insulators/Pabst Racing Services), who claimed his career-best finish of ninth.
The green flag for Race 2 will take place at 11:20 am ET tomorrow as the precursor to IZOD IndyCar Series feature.
Spencer Pigot, #2 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/E-merging Technologies/ Parathyroid.com (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – First: “It was another great race. I just tried to get out in front early on and get a lead over Trent [Hindman] who was in second. I was able to put in some quick laps to get fastest lap of the race which is great for the extra point and I will be starting on pole tomorrow. I am really happy to get another win. The car was awesome. The Capes were just fantastic as always. This is really important for the second half of the season. It took five races to get a six-point lead, so this is a great way to start it off – good momentum, good confidence – and we’ll work hard to keep it going like this.”
Scott Anderson, #14 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Neuropathy Testing Center/Laser Nails Centers (Belardi Auto Racing) – Second: “The day started off kind of so-so with our qualifying. I qualified sixth but was put up to fifth because of a penalty ahead of us. We weren’t completely sure where to go with the setup and took a little bit of a risk with that but definitely went the right direction in the race. I had a good car right from the start, especially when the tires came in, and I was able to make some passes. I think second place is pretty good.”
Matthew Brabham, #83 DTE Group (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – Third: “It is absolutely fantastic. I am thrilled about how it ended up after how it started off. It was a lot of fun. I just kept setting goals for myself throughout the race. I would see a couple of cars ahead and I was like I have got to get past them before the end of the race. It kept escalating and I saw the podium position and I knew I had to push. I managed to get past Trent with a few laps to go to take third, which is good. I would have liked to have started on pole and on the front row to have to fight for the lead but I’ll look forward to doing that tomorrow. Hopefully, we can bring home a good result tomorrow and stay in the fight for the championship. The main goal and only goal is the championship.”
RC Enerson, #10 Patriot Bank/Team E (ZSports Midwest w/Team E Racing) – First National Class: “I had an awful start. I got hung out to dry on the outside. I was in fifth (started first) and just had to start chasing everyone down. I passed one car before the yellow flag came out [Lap 6]. On the restart going into Turn Two, I was able to pass Patrick [Gallagher] for third and caught Henrik [Furuseth]. We had a great battle. I think we passed each other back and forth maybe two or three times in one lap. Once I got by, I pulled ahead a bit and caught Scott Rettich. I passed him but had a hard time gapping but was able to hold it to the finish. I am very happy with my result.”
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